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The decrepit angel is symbolic of Pelayo's and Elisenda's lack of faith. The angel is crippled, lice-ridden, and filthy. He *could* have been the miracle they hoped for if they had taken proper care of him, and proper care of their faith.
Instead, they got exactly what they deserved. A miracle appears and not only do they not appreciate or recognize it, they actively disdain and exploit it.
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