The Virgin of the Crystal - A Virxe do Cristal

The image, "of less than four centimeters, the second smallest dedicated to Marian devotion on the planet, after that of Litanies [ 1 ] ( Viacha , Bolivia), which stripped of its tinsel and clothing does not reach 20 millimeters . " [ 2 ]

La Virgen del Cristal (" The Virgin of the Crystal" in Galician ) is a narrative poem of more than a thousand verses written by Manuel Curros Enríquez and published in Orense in 1880 as part of Aires da miña terra . It tells a story with a popular basis.

Girls of Vilanova,

Well you can brag;

That there is no Virgin in the world Like the Virgin D'o Cristal.

Sing ã'o povo with which the poem begins. [ 3 ]

The argument collected from the town by Curros tells the story of the Virgen del Cristal, which takes place in 1630 . The protagonists are Rosa and Martiño, a couple in love. They both work for the lord of the Vilanova castle, who lives in the Court and who only comes to collect rent and jurisdiction. Another character is Xan de Bentrances (Martiño's rival for Rosa's love, but whom she rejected), who tells Martiño slanders about the virtue of his girlfriend. Martiño gives credit to Xan's words and breaks his relationship with the girl.

Then the Virgin Mary appears to Rosa in a dream to comfort her and the next day a crystal with the image of the Virgin falls from the sky, along with lightning . Martiño finds the crystal but it is not believed to be a test that shows the purity of his girlfriend. The next day, Rosa meets the crystal and the Virgin tells Rosa that God has sent her to demonstrate her purity, while expressing her desire to have a chapel built for her in that valley. The town celebrates the miracle and Rosa enters a convent. Martiño takes revenge on Xan by tearing out his tongue. The narrative ends with the death of Martiño in Allariz , frozen on a snowy night, at the foot of Rosa's convent.


  1. A tiny Bolivian virgin, proposed for Guinness , El País, May 14, 2008. The Virgin of the Litanies, a miniature of Virgin Archived January 25, 2016 at the Wayback Machine , Jornadanet, November 20, 2008 . the smallest Virgin of the world , Heritage, December 2, 2010.
  2. Silvia R. Pontevedra, op. cit.
  3. Text at

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