THE LEGEND

Fotografia: Kamil Szumotalski

The text “Of the martyrdom of Santa Felicia and the penance of St. Guillén”, popularly known as the “Mystery of Obanos”, provides a literary manifestation of a secular legend from the fourteenth century concerning the children of the Dukes of Aquitaine.

After traveling the Way of St. James and feeling a religious calling, Princess Felicia, overcome by the pilgrims’ fervour and heaven’s miracles, decided to spend her life in silence, fleeing her royal territory, her ancestors and her riches, to devote herself to the humble service of our Lord.

She took up residence in the town of Amocain, in the Valley of Egües, where she concealed her status, hiding her rank and living in tranquillity and piety. Until she was discovered by her brother Guillermo, the brave and belligerent, who set out to rescue her from her illusions back to the glory of the royal house. But his efforts were all in vain. He reminded her of her lineage’s honour, of the dreams that her parents had for her life, of her arranged marriage.

But she clung to Heaven’s call and to the demands of a supernatural vocation. A true battle ensued between human love and divine love. Guillermo, drunk with vanity, lost all control in fits of rage. Felicia reiterated her intentions of abandoning her life and remaining engrossed in silence and humility. Swept up in emotion, Guillermo killed Felicia, who would later be consecrated as an innocent victim. 

Heaven made Felicia’s tomb flourish in wonders, transforming it into a place of worship in Labiano, where it arrived through the works of miracle.

The tomb of Santa Felicia was established in Labiano (Valley of Aranguren), while her brother Guillén was also sanctified after performing a pilgrimage to Compostela and mourning his crime for the rest of his life in the hermitage of Arnotegui. There, where he comforted the pilgrims of the Way of St. James and provided assistance to the poor, his remains are still worshipped to this day.