See Saint Live

Hen and Rooster Miracle

Legend tells of a German Pilgrim called Hugonell who was walking to Santiago with his parents, when they decided to rest at an inn in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The owner of the inn´s daughter immediately fell in love with him; however her feelings were not reciprocated, so the girl, angered, placed a silver cup into his luggage and accused the boy of theft. Thieves at that time were punished by hanging, and this was the fate of Hugonell. His parents, saddened by his death continued the pilgrimage, and upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela, began their return journey to visit the grave of their dead son. When they arrived in Santo Domingo however, they found their son still hanging in the gallows but, miraculously alive. Hugonell, excited, said to them: “Santo Domingo brought back me to life, please go to the Mayor´s house and ask him to take me down”. Quickly, the parents arrived at the Mayor´s house and told him of the miracle. The incredulous Mayor, who was preparing to have dinner with friends, responded: “That boy is as alive as these two roast chickens we are about to eat,” and suddenly, the chickens came to life, sprouted feathers and beaks and began to crow, and so, to this day there is a saying about the town which goes: “Santo Domingo of the Way, where the roosters crow after being roasted”.

In front of the Mausoleum there is a stone, polychrome and gothic Henhouse, which was built in the middle of the XVTH century to keep alive a hen and a rooster in memory of the most famous of Santo Domingo´s miracles. There are documents from Pope Clemente VI dated 1350 allowing these live animals inside the cathedral. Below the cage is a representation of the pilgrim being hanged painted by Alonso Gallego. Above the cage there is a piece of wood from the gallows.

De ahí el dicho:
“Santo Domingo de la Calzada
donde cantó la gallina después de asada”

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Miracle of the wheel and the risen pilgrim

Two trucks driven by steers where coming through Grañon road loaded with materials. The animals became crazy so the truck went out the road and one of the wheels run over a pilgrim that was sleeping at the edge of the bridge leaving him lifeless. San Juan de Ortega who was the one driving the cars went to the Saint to tell him what had happened. The Saint went inside a little church and prayed strongly. Trusting that God would not abandon him went to see the corpse and after repeating the prayer once more he said: “Get up in the name of God and continue your way and peregrination”. The pilgrim stood up and next to Santo Domingo and the witness he went inside the church to thank the Virgin.

The Santo Domingo de la Calzada City commemorates and remembers ever 11 of may this miracle with a procesion.

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Others miracles

Miracle of the Sickle

The Saint needed wood for his work so very humbly asked for some oaks. In a very selfish way they denied the wood. The Saint insisted making them see how important and useful where the repairs to the region and the pilgrims, but they were so stubborn that he couldn’t convince them. Suddenly he took out the sickle he was carrying and begged them to get the wood the sickle could cut. They accepted thinking that the small sickle could only cut bramble and eliminate weeds. That is how the miracle occurred. God gave him what humans had denied him.

Miracle of the sacrilegious Hand

During a winter evening while the Saint was making fire for the pilgrims to be warm two of them went inside the Pilgrim’s Hospital. With arrogance they asked to be seen the first ones, and when they realized they were equals they flew into a rage. One of them beat Santo Domingo and threw him into the fire. Forgetting the outrage Santo Domingo served them dinner and breakfast with consideration and affection. Next morning they continued their way but before reaching the bridge they had a fight they took their swords out and fought until they both died. A dog bit the hand of one of them and took it to the Saint that was reaching the church in that moment. He realized that God had punished those who had hurt him although the Saint had forgiven them.

MMiracle of the Raised Workers

During the construction some of the ashlars killed some workers. They clamed the catastrophe was due to the lack of skills of the architecture and the saint, so they went looking after him. The told him what had happened and the saint renewed his prayer. After that he went with them to where the corpses where and begged God for their lives. When the workers rose, the miracle was done and he recovered his honor and could continue the building work.

Miracle of the tamed young bulls

The Saint asked for the participation of the villages to build the bridge and the road that will be very useful to the region. In general everybody was willing to participate but a neighbor from Corporales committed a vile act by giving the Saint two revel young bulls. The Saint trusting in God went quietly to the animals and suddenly they approached him as tame as lambs and the Saint was able to yoke them to the cart.

Miracle of the released captives

In one of the fights between Christians and moors a soldier called Andres de Tobia was taken as prisoner. Hold in a dark dungeon he appealed the Saint for protection. One night the Saint went to see him, hold his hand and released him without being seen. After that both went to a safe place.

Miracle of the Saint sepulcher

The Saint’s disciples asked the architecture to build a sepulcher inside the temple he was building but being humble Santo Domingo left the sepulcher outside. After dying an ox got away from the yoke a run until he died of exhaustion in the sepulcher. With this simple event God make relevant the sepulcher of his servant so when the Cathedral floor was modified the sepulcher was taken inside so no more desecrations could be made.

MMiracle of the protective hands

King Peter I and his half brother Henry of Trastamara played the lead in several bloody battles in order to gain control over the region. The king knew that people from Santo Domingo had pledge allegiance to Henry of Trastamara so he punished the citizens. When the citizens realized what the king was about to do they all went to the Saint’s Sepulcher to implore for protection. In that moment two white hands came out the sepulcher and the king and his soldiers became blind. After admitting their mistake the king asked for forgiveness and promised to build the city walls to protect the village. The king and soldiers recover their vision and were loyal to their words.

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Short bibliography of the Saint

Domingo García, was born in Viloria de Rioja (Burgos) in 1019. He decided to devote his life to God and tried to enter the monasteries of San Millán and Valvanera but was not accepted.

Around the year 1040 he became a hermit in the forests which occupied the site on which this city now stands. From his home he was able to see how difficult the pilgrimage was for those undertaking it and he began to work to help them by building a bridge to cross the Oja River, a hospital where pilgrims could seek refuge, roads communicating Nájera and Redecilla del Camino (Burgos) and a little church. Domingo received approval from Alfonso VI de Castilla who provided the piece of land where Domingo built the first church completed in 1106, but which sadly no longer exists.

When he died, on 12th May 1109, he was buried in the middle of the Pilgrimage, which he had designed. His followers maintained the little village which later took his name and they continued his work, creating a confraternity, which nowadays works keeping his memories, traditions and beliefs alive by working with pilgrims in the Hostel.

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Iglesia Catedral El Salvador • Calle El Cristo s/n., Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja)
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