Friday, November 16, 2012

St Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was an English princess, although, like the saint we honor tomorrow Elizabeth of Hungary, she was also born in Hungary. She later settled in England, and with her mother they sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with the beautiful princess, and even though he was a good person, he and his court were a little rough. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long.
As Queen, Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. When he saw how wise his beloved wife was, he listened to her good advice. She softened his temper and led him to practice great virtue. She made the court beautiful and civilized. Soon all the princes had better manners, and the ladies copied her purity and devotion. The king and queen gave wonderful example to everyone by the way they prayed together and fed crowds of poor people with their own hands. Their intention was to make everyone happy. 

The Marriage of Margaret and Malcolm III
Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Before she came, there was great ignorance and many bad habits among them. She worked hard to obtain good teachers, to correct the evil practices, and to have new churches built. She loved to make these churches beautiful for God's glory, and she embroidered the priest's vestments herself.
God sent this holy Queen six sons and two daughters. She loved them dearly and raised them well. She attended to charitable works, and personally served orphans and the poor every day before she ate. She rose at midnight to attend church services every night.                 

Her husband, Malcolm III, and their eldest son, Edward, were killed in a fight against the English at Alnwick Castle. Her other son Edmund was left with the task of telling his mother of their deaths. Margaret was ill, and she died on 16 November 1093, three days after the deaths of her husband and eldest son. Saint Margaret was canonized in the year 1250 by Pope Innocent IV in recognition of her personal holiness, fidelity to the Church, work for religious reform, and charity.

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