This time we will narrate the legend of the mystery of Óbanos . The story takes place in the village of Óbanos, in Navarra. Today, the legend is recreated in the village by means of a play during the week of St. James’ Day, July 25th. This celebration has been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest.
Legend of the mystery of Óbanos
This legend tells the story of a girl named Felicia, daughter of the Dukes of Aquitaine. On one occasion he heard a troubadour speak of the tomb of St. James the Apostle and the pilgrimage that so many people made to get to where he was.
Felicia was from a very good family, never lacked for anything and lived a noble life. Apparently, the only work he did was the typical work of a woman of her social class in the Middle Ages. Felicia was dedicated to read poems, compose songs and sew for most of the day.
But what he heard from that troubadour awakened his curiosity and he began to to plan his journey to begin his pilgrimage, even though his father and his brother Guillén did not approve of the fact that he was starting this adventure. His desire to make the pilgrimage and leave behind the life of luxury and comfort outweighed the opinion of his family.
Ignoring his family’s warnings about the dangers he would encounter along the way, He set out on the journey with his entourage towards Santiago de Compostela. But what was found was not danger, but a road full of misery, poverty and disease.
After arriving in Santiago and visiting the tomb of the apostle, she decided to stay there to help the most needy, which would completely change her way of understanding life and make her appreciate the little things much more. Felicia stayed in the farmhouse of Amocaín, in the valley of Egües, near Pamplona, taking care of the land, animals and other farm work.
Time passed, and her brother Guillén, seeing that she did not return, decided to go and look for her. Guillén asked village after village until he found her in that hamlet, where he tried to convince her to return to the castle, to continue her life as a nobleman. He insisted that she not give up her future because she would regret it all her life, but in spite of everything he could not convince her.
The tragic story of Guillén and his sister
Guillen, saddened and at the same time angered by his sister’s decision, became so enraged that out of control killed her with an accurate cut to the neck. Realizing what he had done and repentant for the murder of his sister, he set out for Santiago to seek forgiveness for the mortal sin.
They took her lifeless body to the village of Amocaín where they buried her in anger and pain. All were incredulous when after a few days a beautiful flower sprouted from the tomb, and when they opened the coffin they realized that it had sprouted from the mortal wound caused by his brother’s sword, becoming a miraculous and holy event.
Mourning and grief after Felicia’s death: origin of the legend of the Mystery of Óbanos
The villagers of Amocaín made an oak chest for Felicia’s body. They placed it with her body inside the church, but the next day it appeared in the middle of the field. They wanted to pick up the ark and put it back in the church, but it was impossible.
The ark was very heavy so the priest ordered mules to carry Felicia’s body to where they would stop. But for some reason when the mules were at the place, the coffin became much lighter and they were able to carry it.
The mules began to walk until they stopped in Labiano, a municipality in the valley of Aranguren, next to the church of San Pablo, today known as the church of San Pablo and San Felicia, where the body of the daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine is buried.
Guillén, after returning from Santiago, made the decision to stay as a hermit in the hermitage dedicated to Santa María in Arnotegui, located on the hill near the village of Óbanos and dedicated his whole life to pilgrims and charitable works, he was also proclaimed a saint by the people after his death.
We hope you liked this little story as much as we did, we are looking forward to know more, so if you know any legends about the Camino, don’t hesitate to use the comments box.