The Altar Cloth Miracle
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       THE ALTAR CLOTH MIRACLE

    The walls continue to surround the urban center. The remains of one hundred fourteen towers guard the city of Daroca. Many of these still have evocative names: "Knight of the White Eagle," "The three guitars", "The Golden Spur", "Saint George", "Saint Christopher". This is how the legend of the little Moor comes back to life, and the city revives its short origins.

    The Greeks would talk about it. The city hosted counselors and Roman magistrates. The Arabs left deep traces of their tracks, their civilization and culture. Until Alfonso I reconquered the city of Daroca, once the capital was won. The new square was conveniently fortified and turned into a citadel of the conquered territories.

    Its history is dense and just as important from period to period. James I the Conqueror and Peter IV had celebrations there.

    The one hundred and fourteen towers act as permanent guards, faithful guardians of the city’s monumental art and of its own history carved in stone.

    Parts of the walls and towers have undergone reconstruction. It is worth it to continue to improve this.    It is located between Aragon and Castilla. The Higher Gate, at the entrance, resembles the entrance of a fortress palace. The urban center extends at the hollow, like the canyon looking for the riverbed of the Jiloca.

    The Lower Gate, or Fondonera, which is carved with the coat of arms of Charls V, looks towards Castilla. It is like a triangle formed by three provinces: Zaragoza, Teruel and Guadalajara.

    Continuing on the highway towards Valencia, the urban center stays below in between two hills covered by green pine trees. What can be noticed are the Romanesque apses of the churches and the imposing building of the College of Saint Mary of the Sacred Body, the National Eucharistic Temple, Saint Michael and the Romanesque-Moorish tower of Saint Dominique. Everything though gets mixed up with the irregular geometry of the houses’ rooftops. Travelers can admire a complete panoramic of the urban center. The fort walls rise up until the hills. The one of Saint Christopher, the highest one, gets lost in the pine forest becoming a recreational place in expansion.

    The Corpus of Daroca quickly became famous around the world. The Mystery of the Sacred Body is known well enough so as not to continue to insist on the matter. The six bloody-round shapes are preserved in an artistic chest, which arrived to the city, according to the tradition, on the 7th of March 1239 riding on a white mule that refused to follow a different path other than the one leading towards Daroca. That is how it passed through the provinces of Valencia, Castellón de la Plana and Teruel. The miracle happened in Luchente (Valencia) when Monsignor Mateo Martínez was celebrating the sacred service. At the moment of consecration, the Christian troops were attacked by the Moors. Monsignor Mateo folded away the six communion wafers in the altar cloth, already consecrated, and hid them under nearby stones. When he went back to get them after the battle, he found them all covered in blood and stuck to the cloth.

    The square of the College is wide, full of contrasts and picturesque colors. In front of the old houses with rudimentary porches is the new building of the schools. Opposite the College of Saint Mary is the Town Hall.

    In front of the Fondonera Gate the Ruejo monument rises – unique in the entire Spanish country. The people of Daroca wanted to display this public recognition to the millstone that saved their lives on the day of Saint Bonaventure in 1575. They say that torrential rains and flood waters inundated the ravine. The Lower Gate was clogged up and the risk of floods loomed over all inhabitants of Daroca. There was an epidemic of the plague, so neighbors remained locked in their homes. As the fear of drowning persisted, the treadmill – the Ruejo – rolled down the street, driven by the waters, and smashed the hard obstacles that blocked the Lower Gate. The Ruejo saved Daroca and its neighbors, and so the people of Daroca have commemorated a monument accordingly.

    Alfonso Zapater.  Esta tierra nuestra I. (Adaptation) /font>


Instructions: In the comprehension test circle one of the following letters: a, b, c.


INTERACTIVE COMPREHENSION TEST

1.- How many towers do the walls of Daroca have?

a) One hundred and thirty.

b) One hundred and fourteen.

c) Eight hundred.


2.- Which king reconquered Daroca?

a) James I the Conqueror.

b) Peter IV.

c) Alfonso V..


3.- La Fondonera refers to:

a) The Lower Gate.

b) The Higher Gate. 

c) The Middle Gate.


4.- The Lower Gate is crowned by the shield of:

a) Philip II.

b) Ferdinand the Catholic.

c) Charles V.


5.- Which church is the National Eucharistic Temple?

a) Saint Mary’s college.

b) Saint Michael.

c) Saint Dominique.


6.- ¿En qué año llegaron las seis formas a Daroca?

a) 1229.

b) 1239.

c) 1249.


7.- In what year did the miracle of the six communion wafers occur?

a) Valencia.

b) Castellón de la Plana.

c) Teruel.


8.- The name of the priest who consecrated the wafers was:

a) Monsignor Cristopher.

b) Monsignor Mateo.

c) Monsignor Albert.


9.- What is the Ruejo?

a) A bridge.

b) A canyon in Daroca.

c) A millstone.


10.- Why was there a flood warning in Daroca?

a) Because the Ruejo monument was going to fall.

b) Because the Lower Gate was blocked.

c) Because the Jiloca River spilled over.







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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL