Cantiga 121 of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X
The Knight who Made Garlands for the Virgin’s Image
A knight vowed to make a garland of roses for the Virgin everyday. He promised that if he could not find enough roses, he would say an Ave Maria for each one lacking and thus complete the garland.
He did as he promised, commending himself to the Virgin and placing the garlands on her statue.
One day when he was riding through a valley, he encountered his enemies. They were riding fine horses, but he was on his old palfrey. He dismounted and, kneeling, prayed to the Virgin.
Just as they were about to kill him, they saw him surrounded by a heavenly light. They also saw a maiden helping the knight make a garland of roses.
The men were powerless to harm the knight and decided to leave him alone. They realised that it would be a serious thing to “make war on the Mother of God.” They went away.
The knight was not aware of the vision, but was told what the Virgin had done. His love for the Virgin increased and he told of the miracle in many lands.
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