First Advisor

DeLys Ostlund

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Spanish






Gonzalo de Berceo (active 13th century). Milagros de Nuestra Señora, Blessed Virgin Saint Mary -- In literature



Physical Description

1 online resource (61 pages)


The cult of the Virgin Mary reached its climactic point in Europe during the Middle Ages, and was particularly strong in Spain. Literature became a concrete expression of Marianism because it reflected the beliefs of the populace. Gonzalo de Berceo, a Castilian monk, greatly influenced by the ever-growing Marian piety, wrote a collection of poems in which the activity of the Blessed Mother in everyday human life is documented. I propose to do a detailed miracle-by-miracle analysis of Mary's interactions with others by focusing on Berceo's characterization of her in her principal role as a mother. In addition, I will analyze the characters to whom Mary renders assistance since they are representative of Berceo's audience and are people to whom the common people were able to relate. Finally, I will consider the visions of Mary that occur during the miracles, particularly whether or not she appears, to whom she appears, and why. Through this study of the Milagros, it will become apparent that while Berceo incorporates elements of the predominating theology into his miracles, the stories are primarily a reflection of the popular belief. Berceo demonstrates the influence of theology by depicting in his miracles all of the maternal qualities Mary embodied that appealed to people looking for a motherly figure to turn to in time of need. In addition, the role of Mary as an all-powerful intercessor who decides on her own who receives miracles, and who does not, reflects the common faith of the people living in the Middle Ages.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL

Persistent Identifier