As Christianity spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, many believers attributed miraculous tales to the Virgin Mary and saints. In Camino de Santiago folklore, the Virgin Mary and Saint James intercede on behalf of pilgrims who cannot resolve a crisis without divine assistance. The Codex Calixtinus, a twelfth-century manuscript, contains such a story that occurs in Toulouse called "The Hanged Pilgrim." In this miracle, an innkeeper frames a pilgrim for theft and the local magistrate sentences the accused to hang as a consequence. However, the Virgin Mary and Saint James spare the pilgrim's life because of his devotion and the magistrate orders the pilgrim's release. Over centuries, pilgrims alter the original story as they retell it on the Camino trail. I argue that not only does this miracle of intercession change geographic location from France to the Iberian Peninsula, but that it also transforms from the Virgin Mary and Saint James saving an innocent pilgrim to female victims interceding on behalf of their betrayer and rapist. This analysis traces the displacement of "The Hanged Pilgrim" from a miracle in folklore and poetry to secular metaphoric reconciliation in a Spanish Golden Age play.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Greenhalgh, Matthew Carey, "The Pilgrimage to Meaning Along the Camino de Santiago" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 5994.
intercession, displacement, urtext, pilgrim, Camino de Santiago