FEAST OF SAINT MARGARET OF SCOTLAND
FEAST DAY – 16th NOVEMBER
St. Margaret of Scotland was born in 1045 in Hungary and belonged to a royal family. She spent her early years in Hungary, due to her father’s exile but returned to her native land in England in 1057 when her great-uncle, St. Edward the Confessor, who had succeeded her grandfather, was near death, and her father would become the successor.
However, misfortune stood with them as her father died almost immediately, and through many battles her family lost the throne and fled to Scotland. She was married to Malcom III, King of Scots, and together they had eight children, three of whom would succeed their father on the Scottish throne. St. Margaret tried in many ways to help others and uplift them spiritually, mentally and socially.
She spent her life devoted to prayer and service and also filled her children with virtues, setting a wonderful example for them, through her own strong character. St. Margaret spent a lot of time in prayer and illustrated the importance of silence and solitude when she would often retreat to the cloister of a cave for quiet reflection. She had deep respect for all the Sacraments, was a voracious reader and loved books on spirituality.
She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults. She would wash their feet and feed them with Christlike love. Margaret was a great supporter of Benedictine life and knew the importance of monasteries and their contributions to society.
She invited the Benedictines to establish a new monastery and brought many reforms. She died due to weakness of fasting, at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland in 1093, merely days after receiving the news of her husband’s death in battle. She was just 48 – 49 years old at her death. She was canonized in 1250, becoming a patron saint for the poor and needy.
O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Saint Margaret of Scotland, pray for us.