A pilgrim prays to St. James to never be captured, and is taken prisoner thirteen times

Pocket Bard’s notes: I like that this is a “careful what you wish for” story. A man thinks he knows what he wants, but it turns out that it’s not what he wants at all. As someone whose D&D party has been paralyzed for hours trying to come up with an appropriate “wish” spell, this one speaks to me. (And tells me that God is a bastard of a Dungeon Master.)


A pilgrim prays to St. James to never be captured, and is taken prisoner thirteen times
The Golden Legend, Volume II, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.10

Pope Callistus reports that about the year 1100 a citizen of Barcelona went on pilgrimage to Saint James and prayed for just one favor, namely, that thenceforth he might never be taken captive by an enemy. He was returning home via Sicily when he was captured by Saracens at sea and was sold several times as a slave, but the chains with which he was fettered always fell apart. When he had already been sold thirteen times and was bound with double chains, he called upon Saint James for help, and the saint appeared to him and said: “When you were in my church, with no thought for your soul’s salvation you asked only for your body’s liberation, and that is why all these misfortunes have beset you. But because the Lord is merciful, he has sent me to redeem you.” At once his chains were broken, and he passed through the lands and strongholds of the Saracens carrying a part of the chain as proof of this miracle. So he returned home, where his own saw him and marveled. When anyone tried to take him captive, the sight of the chain sent him flying; and when lions and other wild beasts were about to attack him as he went about in desert places, they saw the chain, were stricken with stark terror, and turned and ran at once.

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