Alfonso X, St. James, and the Virgin

Alfonso X, St. James, and the Virgin

By Anthony J. Cárdenas-Rotunno

Latin American Institute, Research Paper Series No. 50 (2009)

Abstract: This study explores how pilgrimage connects to the political Weltanschuung of Alfonso X, born in 1221-1284, especially as concerns the perceived rivalry between the shrine of Mary at Villa-Sirga and of Santiago at Compostela. By reviewing Alfonso’s pragmatism behind all of the works he sponsored, by viewing the relationship between the Mother of God and St. James, by focusing on miracles in the Cantigas de Santa Maria, and especially viewing Alfonso’s creation of a military order dedicated to the Virgin, it concludes that perceived rivalry between the two shrines was exclusively popular and not regal as proposed by some.

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