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Milagros de Nuestra Señora

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Original title

Milagros de Nuestra Señora

The first poet in Spanish whose name is known, Gonzalo de Berceo, a cleric at San Millán de la Cogolla Monastery, with this work reached the summit of European Marian literature of the period.

It is a compilation of twenty-five miracles worked by the Virgin Mary, written in verse in “cuaderna vía” metre — belonging to the ‘Mester de Clerecía’ genre —, but in the Romance language of the period instead of Latin. Its sources are popular literary traditions, passed down orally, which he himself could hear, and a Latin collection of twenty-eight prose stories.

Berceo brought to his ‘exempla’ the ingenuous character of simple people: Mary appears as a maternal figure who takes pity on human weaknesses and pardons all of her children’s offenses. The poet appealed to people’s feelings, without any theological pretensions. In this context, the promise of redemption takes on particular importance: Mary as a life raft, as the last resort to which even the worst of sinners can cling.


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