The Miracle of O Cebreiro and the Galician Holy Grail

9 for February, 2017

From the height of the Camino de Santiago in the Middle Ages, pilgrims from all over Europe take the routes that lead to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and therefore to the tomb of the apostle. To know the history of the Miracle of O Cebreiro you must start your Camino de Santiago from O Cebreiro.

Said Miracle of O Cebreiro and the subsequent legend of the Holy Grail of Galicia took place in the Benedictine Church of Santa María do O Cebreiro. Today Cebreiro is still a small village. Its great treasure is precisely the Church of the Eucharistic miracle, of pre-Romanesque invoice, from the XNUMXth century, with three simple naves with rectangular apses and a tower. The image of a Gothic Christ presides in the presbytery. It is very important to highlight that in this Miracle of O Cebreiro, the Church of Santa Maria is the oldest of all the Jacobean heritage, preserved in its entirety, except for the facade.

Benedictine monks erected and guarded this temple from 836 to 1853, over a thousand years! The monks of Aurillac, who was called Alfonso VI, remained in Cebreiro from 1072 to 1487, the date on which the Catholic Monarchs obtained their annexation to Saint Benedict the Royal of Valladolid. The monks left the Cebreiro in 1853, as a consequence of the confiscation of Mendizábal.

The Miracle of O Cebreiro or Eucharistic Miracle

A very strong tradition, corroborated by various historical and archaeological sources, maintains that a Benedictine priest was celebrating the Eucharist on the altar in the side chapel of the church. It is believed that this celebration took place over the fourteenth century.

The priest thought that the harsh winter day, when the snow was piling up and the wind was unbearable, no one would come to Mass. But he was wrong. A countryman from Barxamaior, named Juan Santín, ascends to Cebreiro to participate in the Holy Mass. The celebrant monk, in little faith, despises the peasant's sacrifice.

But at the moment of Consecration the priest perceives how the Host turns into flesh sensitive to sight, and the chalice into blood, which boils and stains the bodily. The bodies with the blood remained in the chalice and the Host in the paten.

Jesus wanted to strengthen not only the faith of that monk but of all men. News of the miracle spread everywhere thus fostering a great devotion to Christ in the Eucharist.

Despite time, wars and fires, the miracle comes to our century so lacking in faith, as a powerful sign of truth: Christ is alive, risen, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Eucharist.

The protagonists of the story, the monk and the peasant, have their mausoleums in the church, near the place of the Eucharistic miracle.


In 1486 the Catholic Monarchs, pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, stay with the monks, contemplate the miracle and then donate the reliquary where the Miracle has been kept until today.

In the first years of the seventeenth century Fr. Yepes wrote: “I, although unworthy, have seen and worshiped this holy mystery, I have seen the two blisters in one of them is the blood, which seems barely clotted, red like that of a freshly slaughtered kid, I have also seen the meat, which is red and dry ”.

The Chalice and the Paten are famous XNUMXth century Romanesque pieces. This chalice presides over the shield of Galicia. Cebreiro and the Miracle have influenced Wagner's work.

How do we see the Camino de santiago Francés from O Cebreiro It is considered the cradle of myths and legends and from here you can start the Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

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