dimanche 10 juin 2012

Sainte MARGUERITE d'ÉCOSSE, reine et veuve


SAINTE MARGUERITE

Reine d'Écosse

(1046-1093)

Sainte Marguerite était nièce de saint Étienne de Hongrie. Elle vint au monde en 1046, et montra bientôt de merveilleuses dispositions pour la vertu; la modestie rehaussait sa rare beauté, et dès son enfance elle se signalait par son dévouement aux malheureux, qui lui mérita dans la suite le nom de mère des orphelins et de trésorière des pauvres de Jésus-Christ.

Forcée de chercher un asile en Écosse, elle donna l'exemple d'une sainteté courageuse dans les épreuves, si bien que le roi Malcolm III, plein d'estime pour elle et épris des charmes de sa beauté, lui offrit sa main et son trône. Marguerite y consentit, moins par inclination que dans l'espoir de servir à propager le règne de Jésus-Christ. Elle avait alors environ vingt-trois ans (1070).

Son premier apostolat s'exerça envers son mari, dont elle adoucit les moeurs par ses attentions délicates, par sa patience et sa douceur. Convertir un roi, c'est convertir un royaume: aussi l'Écosse entière se ressentit de la conversion de son roi: la cour, le clergé, le peuple furent bientôt transformés.

Marguerite, apôtre de son mari, fut aussi l'apôtre de sa famille. Dieu lui donna huit enfants, qui firent tous honneur à la vertu de leur pieuse mère et à la valeur de leur père. Dès le berceau elle leur inspirait l'amour de Dieu, le mépris des vanités terrestres et l'horreur du péché.

L'amour des pauvres, qui avait brillé dans Marguerite enfant, ne fit que s'accroître dans le coeur de la reine: ce fut peut-être, de toutes les vertus de notre sainte, la plus remarquable. Pour les soulager, elle n'employait pas seulement ses richesses, elle se dépensait tout entière: "La main des pauvres, aimait-elle à dire, est la garantie des trésors royaux: c'est un coffre-fort que les voleurs les plus habiles ne sauraient forcer." Aussi se fit-elle plus pauvre que les pauvres eux-mêmes qui lui tendaient la main; car elle ne se privait pas seulement du superflu, mais du nécessaire, pour leur éviter des privations.

Quand elle sortait de son palais, elle était toujours environnée de pauvres, de veuves et d'orphelins, qui se pressaient sur ses pas. Avant de se mettre à table, elle servait toujours de ses mains neuf petites orphelines et vingt-quatre vieillards; l'on vit même parfois entrer ensemble dans le palais jusqu'à trois cents pauvres. Malcolm se faisait un plaisir de s'associer à sa sainte épouse pour servir les pauvres à genoux, par respect pour Notre-Seigneur, dont ils sont les membres souffrants. La mort de Marguerite jeta le deuil dans tout le royaume.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.



Sainte Marguerite d'Ecosse

Reine d'Écosse (✝ 1093)

Petite-fille du roi d'Angleterre, elle se réfugia en Ecosse lors de l'invasion normande. Elle deviendra l'épouse du roi Malcom III dont la piété était fort grande. Il associait sa femme aux affaires du royaume et son règne durant quarante ans fut des plus heureux : huit enfants dans un foyer très uni et un pays bien géré malgré des luttes avec les envahisseurs normands. Elle meurt quelques jours après l'assassinat de son époux par les Normands d'Angleterre. Elle introduisit la liturgie romaine dans l'Eglise écossaise.

Elle était fêtée le 10 juin et maintenant le 16 novembre, date de sa mort le 16 novembre 1093.

Fêtée le 16 juin en Ecosse.

Lire aussi (en anglais) sa biographie sur le site de la paroisse Saint Margaret of Scotland à Chicago :

http://www.stmargaretofscotland.com/biography.htm

Mémoire de sainte Marguerite d’Écosse. Née en Hongrie et mariée au roi d’Écosse Malcolm III, à qui elle donna huit enfants, elle s’intéressa grandement au bien du royaume et de l’Église, joignant à la prière et aux jeûnes la générosité envers les pauvres et donnant ainsi un exemple excellent d’épouse, de mère et de reine. Elle mourut en 1003 à Édimbourg, après avoir appris la nouvelle de la mort de son mari et de son fils aîné dans une bataille.

Martyrologe romain

La main des pauvres est l’assurance des trésors royaux. Ce coffre-fort, les cambrioleurs les plus retors ne sauraient le forcer.

Propos de sainte Marguerite




Sainte Marguerite d’Écosse, reine et veuve

Morte à Édimbourg en 1093. Canonisée avant 1249. Fête en 1693.

Leçons des Matines avant 1960

Quatrième leçon. Marguerite, reine d’Écosse, qui avait la gloire de descendre des rois d’Angleterre par son père, et des Césars par sa mère, devint plus illustre encore par la pratique des vertus chrétiennes. Elle naquit en Hongrie, où son père était alors exilé. Après avoir passé son enfance dans la plus grande piété, elle vint en Angleterre avec son père qui était appelé par son oncle, saint Édouard, roi des Anglais, à monter sur le trône de ses aïeux. Bientôt, partageant les revers de sa famille, Marguerite quitta les rivages d’Angleterre, mais une tempête, ou plus véritablement un dessein de la divine Providence, la conduisit sur les côtes d’Écosse. Là, pour obéir à sa mère, elle épousa le roi de ce pays, Malcolm III, qui avait été charmé par ses belles qualités, et se rendit merveilleusement utile à tout le royaume par ses œuvres de sainteté et de piété pendant les trente années qu’elle régna.

Cinquième leçon. Au milieu des délices de la cour, elle affligeait son corps par des macérations, des veilles, et réservait une grande partie de la nuit à ses pieuses oraisons. Indépendamment des autres jeûnes qu’elle observait en diverses circonstances, elle avait l’habitude de jeûner quarante jours entiers avant les fêtes de Noël, et cela avec une telle rigueur, qu’elle persévérait à le faire malgré les plus vives souffrances. Dévouée au culte divin, elle construisit à nouveau ou restaura plusieurs églises et monastères, qu’elle enrichit d’objets précieux et d’un revenu abondant. Par son très salutaire exemple, elle amena le roi son époux à une conduite meilleure et à des œuvres semblables à celles qu’elle pratiquait. Elle éleva ses enfants avec tant de piété et de succès, que plusieurs d’entre eux embrassèrent, comme Agathe sa mère et Christine sa sœur, le genre de vie le plus saint. Pleine de sollicitude pour la prospérité du royaume entier, elle délivra le peuple de tous les vices qui s’y étaient glissés insensiblement, et le ramena à des mœurs dignes de la foi chrétienne.

Sixième leçon. Rien cependant ne fut plus admirable en elle que son ardente charité envers le prochain et surtout à l’égard des indigents. Non contente d’en soutenir des multitudes par ses aumônes, elle se faisait une fête de fournir tous les jours, avec une bonté maternelle, le repas de trois cents d’entre eux, de remplir à genoux l’office d’une servante envers ces pauvres, de leur laver les pieds de ses mains royales, et de panser leurs plaies, n’hésitant même point à baiser leurs ulcères. Pour ces générosités et autres dépenses, elle sacrifia ses parures royales et ses joyaux précieux, et alla même plus d’une fois jusqu’à épuiser le trésor. Enfin, après avoir enduré des peines très amères avec une patience admirable et avoir été purifiée par six mois de souffrances corporelles, elle rendit son âme à son Créateur le quatre des ides de juin. Au même instant, son visage défiguré pendant sa longue maladie par la pâleur et la maigreur, s’épanouit avec une beauté extraordinaire. Marguerite fut illustre, même après sa mort, par des prodiges éclatants. L’autorité de Clément X l’a donnée pour patronne à l’Écosse ; et elle est dans le monde entier très religieusement honorée.


Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

Une semaine s’est écoulée depuis le jour où, s’élevant de la terre de France dédiée au Christ par ses soins, Clotilde apprenait au monde le rôle réservé à la femme près du berceau des peuples. Avant le christianisme, l’homme, amoindri par le péché dans sa personne et dans sa vie sociale, ne connaissait pas la grandeur en ce point des intentions divines ; la philosophie et l’histoire ignoraient l’une et l’autre que la maternité pût s’élever jusqu’à ces hauteurs. Mais l’Esprit-Saint, donné aux hommes pour les instruire de toute vérité [1], théoriquement et pratiquement, multiplie depuis sa venue les exemples, afin de nous révéler l’ampleur merveilleuse du plan divin, la force et la suavité présidant ici comme partout aux conseils de l’éternelle Sagesse.

L’Écosse était chrétienne depuis longtemps déjà, lorsque Marguerite lui fut donnée, non pour l’amener au baptême, mais pour établir parmi ses peuplades diverses et trop souvent ennemies l’unité qui fait la nation. L’ancienne Calédonie, défendue par ses lacs, ses montagnes et ses fleuves, avait jusqu’à la fin de l’empire romain gardé son indépendance. Mais, inaccessible aux armées, elle était devenue le refuge des vaincus de toute race, des proscrits de toutes les époques. Les irruptions, qui s’arrêtaient à ses frontières, avaient été nombreuses et sans merci dans les provinces méridionales de la grande île britannique ; Bretons dépossédés, Saxons, Danois, envahisseurs chassés à leur tour et fuyant vers le nord, étaient venus successivement juxtaposer leurs mœurs à celles des premiers habitants, ajouter leurs rancunes mutuelles aux vieilles divisions des Pictes et des Scots. Mais du mal même le remède devait sortir. Dieu, pour montrer qu’il est le maître des révolutions aussi bien que des flots en furie, allait confier l’exécution de ses desseins miséricordieux sur l’Écosse aux bouleversements politiques et à la tempête.

Dans les premières années du XIe siècle, l’invasion danoise chassait du sol anglais les fils du dernier roi saxon, Edmond Côte de fer. L’apôtre couronné de la Hongrie, saint Etienne Ier, recevait à sa cour les petits-neveux d’Édouard le Martyr et donnait à l’aîné sa fille en mariage, tandis que le second s’alliait à la nièce de l’empereur saint Henri, le virginal époux de sainte Cunégonde. De cette dernière union naquirent deux filles : Christine qui se voua plus tard au Seigneur, Marguerite dont l’Église célèbre la gloire en ce jour, et un prince, Edgard Etheling, que les événements ramenèrent bientôt sur les marches du trône d’Angleterre. La royauté venait en effet de passer des princes danois à Édouard le Confesseur, oncle d’Edgard ; et l’angélique union du saint roi avec la douce Édith n’étant appelée à produire de fruits que pour le ciel, la couronne semblait devoir appartenir après lui par droit de naissance au frère de sainte Marguerite, son plus proche héritier. Nés dans l’exil, Edgard et ses sœurs virent donc enfin s’ouvrir pour eux la patrie. Mais peu après, la mort d’Édouard et la conquête normande bannissaient de nouveau la famille royale ; le navire qui devait reconduire sur le continent les augustes fugitifs était jeté par un ouragan sur les côtes d’Écosse. Edgard Etheling, malgré les efforts du parti saxon, ne devait jamais relever le trône de ses pères ; mais sa sainte sœur conquérait la terre où le naufrage, instrument de Dieu, l’avait portée.

Devenue l’épouse de Malcolm III, sa sereine influence assouplit les instincts farouches du fils de Duncan, et triompha de la barbarie trop dominante encore en ces contrées jusque-là séparées du reste du monde. Les habitants des hautes et des basses terres, réconciliés, suivaient leur douce souveraine dans les sentiers nouveaux qu’elle ouvrait devant eux à la lumière de l’Évangile. Les puissants se rapprochèrent du faible et du pauvre, et, déposant leur dureté de race, se laissèrent prendre aux charmes de la charité. La pénitence chrétienne reprit ses droits sur les instincts grossiers de la pure nature. La pratique des sacrements, remise en honneur, produisait ses fruits. Partout, dans l’Église et l’État, disparaissaient les abus. Tout le royaume n’était plus qu’une famille, dont Marguerite se disait à bon droit la mère ; car l’Écosse naissait par elle à la vraie civilisation. David Ier, inscrit comme sa mère au catalogue des Saints, achèvera l’œuvre commencée ; pendant ce temps, un autre enfant de Marguerite, également digne d’elle, sainte Mathilde d’Écosse, épouse d’Henri Ier fils de Guillaume de Normandie, mettra fin sur le sol anglais aux rivalités persévérantes des conquérants et des vaincus par le mélange du sang des deux races.

Nous vous saluons, ô reine, digne des éloges que la postérité consacre aux plus illustres souveraines. Dans vos mains, la puissance a été l’instrument du salut des peuples. Votre passage a marqué pour l’Écosse le plein midi de la vraie lumière. Hier, en son Martyrologe, la sainte Église nous rappelait la mémoire de celui qui fut votre précurseur glorieux sur cette terre lointaine : au VIe siècle, Colomb-Kil, sortant de l’Irlande, y portait la foi. Mais le christianisme de ses habitants, comprimé par mille causes diverses dans son essor, n’avait point produit parmi eux tous ses effets civilisateurs. Une mère seule pouvait parfaire l’éducation surnaturelle de la nation. L’Esprit-Saint, qui vous avait choisie pour cette tâche, ô Marguerite, prépara votre maternité dans la tribulation et l’angoisse : ainsi avait-il procédé pour Clotilde ; ainsi fait-il pour toutes les mères. Combien mystérieuses et cachées n’apparaissent pas en votre personne les voies de l’éternelle Sagesse ! Cette naissance de proscrite loin du sol des aïeux, cette rentrée dans la patrie, suivie bientôt d’infortunes plus poignantes, cette tempête, enfin, qui vous jette dénuée de tout sur les rochers d’une terre inconnue : quel prudent de ce monde eût pressenti, dans une série de désastres pareils, la conduite d’une miséricordieuse providence faisant servir à ses plus suaves résolutions la violence combinée des hommes et des éléments ? Et pourtant, c’est ainsi que se formait en vous la femme forte [2], supérieure aux tromperies de la vie présente et fixée en Dieu, le seul bien que n’atteignent pas les révolutions de ce monde.

Loin de s’aigrir ou de se dessécher sous la souffrance, votre cœur, établi au-dessus des variations de cette terre à la vraie source de l’amour, y puisait toutes les prévoyances et tous les dévouements qui, sans autre préparation, vous tenaient à la hauteur de la mission qui devait être la vôtre. Ainsi fûtes-vous en toute vérité ce trésor qui mérite qu’on l’aille chercher jusqu’aux extrémités du monde, ce navire qui apporte des plages lointaines la nourriture et toutes les richesses au rivage où les vents l’ont poussé [3]. Heureuse votre patrie d’adoption, si jamais elle n’eût oublié vos enseignements et vos exemples ! Heureux vos descendants, si toujours ils s’étaient souvenus que le sang des Saints coulait dans leurs veines ! Digne de vous dans la mort, la dernière reine d’Écosse porta du moins sous la hache du bourreau une tête jusqu’au bout fidèle à son baptême. Mais on vit l’indigne fils de Marie Smart, par une politique aussi fausse que sacrilège, abandonner en même temps l’Église et sa mère. L’hérésie desséchait pour jamais la souche illustre d’où sortirent tant de rois, au moment où l’Angleterre et l’Écosse s’unissaient sous leur sceptre agrandi ; car la trahison consommée par Jacques Ier ne devait pas être rachetée devant Dieu par la fidélité de Jacques II à la foi de ses pères. O Marguerite, du ciel où votre trône est affermi pour les siècles sans fin, n’abandonnez ni l’Angleterre à qui vous appartenez par vos glorieux ancêtres, ni l’Écosse dont la protection spéciale vous reste confiée par l’Église de la terre. L’apôtre André partage avec vous les droits de ce puissant patronage. De concert avec lui, gardez les âmes restées fidèles, multipliez le nombre des retours à l’antique foi, et préparez pour un avenir prochain la rentrée du troupeau tout entier sous la houlette de l’unique Pasteur [4].

[1] Johan. XVI, 13.

[2] Prov. XXXI, 10-31.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Johan. X, 16.



Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

Cette sainte reine confirme ce qu’écrivait jadis saint Paul : Une femme remplie de foi peut sanctifier son mari et toute sa maison. Marguerite fut l’ange tutélaire de son peuple, c’est pourquoi Clément X la proclama patronne de l’Écosse.

La messe est semblable à celle de sainte Françoise Romaine, le 9 mars. Seule la première collecte est spéciale : « Seigneur qui avez inspiré à la bienheureuse reine Marguerite un tendre amour pour les pauvres ; à son exemple et par ses prières, faites que la charité embrase de plus en plus notre cœur ».

Il est meilleur de donner que de recevoir, a dit le Seigneur (Act., XX, 35). Dieu a imprimé sur les puissants et sur les riches comme un rayon de sa magnificence, afin que ceux-ci, partageant entre les malheureux les ressources qu’il leur a accordées, soient les organes et les ministres de la divine Providence. La richesse est donc une mission sacrée et divine, et c’est la raison pour laquelle Dieu nous déclare si souvent dans la sainte Écriture qu’il a lui-même créé le riche comme le pauvre.



Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

Que Dieu donne de bonnes mères !

Sainte Marguerite. Jour de mort : 10 juin 1093. Tombeau : La plus grande partie des reliques se trouve au couvent de l’Escurial, en Espagne. Image : On la représente en reine, secourant les pauvres. « Elle naquit en Hongrie (vers 1045) où son père était alors exilé. Elle y passa son enfance dans une profonde piété. Elle vint plus tard en Angleterre. Son père avait, en effet, été élevé par son oncle, le saint roi Édouard III d’Angleterre, aux plus hautes dignités du royaume. Après la mort subite de son père, en 1057, elle quitta l’Angleterre. Une violente tempête, ou plutôt une disposition spéciale de la Providence, la jeta sur les côtes écossaises. Là, elle épousa, sur l’ordre de sa mère, le roi d’Écosse, Malcolm III (1070). Sa sainteté et sa charité en firent pendant ses trente ans de règne la bénédiction du pays. Au sein même des grandeurs royales, Marguerite mortifiait sa chair par des austérités et des veilles. Ce qui était surtout admirable dans cette sainte reine, c’était sa charité pour le prochain et particulièrement pour les nécessiteux. Elle ne se contentait pas de secourir les nombreux nécessiteux par des aumônes ; elle nourrissait encore chaque jour à sa table environ 300 pauvres, elle les servait de sa propre main et baisait leurs plaies ». Elle a été déclarée patronne du royaume d’Écosse.

Encore deux traits de sa vie : La reine insistait souvent auprès de son confesseur pour qu’il lui indiquât sans pitié tous ses défauts. Elle fit convoquer plusieurs synodes et manifesta beaucoup de zèle pour faire observer les commandements de l’Église.

Pratique. — L’oraison de la fête fait ressortir « son amour pour les pauvres » et demande que, « par son intercession et son exemple, l’amour de Dieu grandisse chaque jour dans nos cœurs ». La charité doit toujours être cultivée avec un soin particulier. « Ce que vous aurez fait au plus petit d’entre les miens, c’est à moi que vous l’aurez fait », dit le Seigneur. — La messe est du commun des saintes femmes (Cognóvi).




St. Margaret of Scotland

Born about 1045, died 16 Nov., 1093, was a daughter of Edward "Outremere", or "the Exile", by Agatha, kinswoman of Gisela, the wife of St. Stephen of Hungary. She was the granddaughter of Edmund Ironside. A constant tradition asserts that Margaret's father and his brother Edmund were sent to Hungary for safety during the reign of Canute, but no record of the fact has been found in that country. The date of Margaret's birth cannot be ascertained with accuracy, but it must have been between the years 1038, when St. Stephendied, and 1057, when her father returned to England. It appears that Margaret came with him on that occasion and, on his death and the conquest of England by the Normans, her mother Agatha decided to return to the Continent. A storm however drove their ship to Scotland, where Malcolm III received the party under his protection, subsequently taking Margaret to wife. This event had been delayed for a while by Margaret's desire to enter religion, but it took place some time between 1067 and 1070.


In her position as queen, all Margaret's great influence was thrown into the cause of religion and piety. Asynod was held, and among the special reforms instituted the most important were the regulation of theLenten fast, observance of the Easter communion, and the removal of certain abuses concerning marriage within the prohibited degrees. Her private life was given up to constant prayer and practices of piety. She founded several churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline, built to enshrine her greatest treasure, a relicof the true Cross. Her book of the Gospels, richly adorned with jewels, which one day dropped into a river and was according to legend miraculously recovered, is now in the Bodleian library at Oxford. She foretold the day of her death, which took place at Edinburgh on 16 Nov., 1093, her body being buried before the high altar at Dunfermline.

In 1250 Margaret was canonized by Innocent IV, and her relics were translated on 19 June, 1259, to a new shrine, the base of which is still visible beyond the modern east wall of the restored church. At theReformation her head passed into the possession of Mary Queen of Scots, and later was secured by theJesuits at Douai, where it is believed to have perished during the French Revolution. According to George Conn, "De duplici statu religionis apud Scots" (Rome, 1628), the rest of the relics, together with those of Malcolm, were acquired by Philip II of Spain, and placed in two urns in the Escorial. When, however, Bishop Gillies of Edinburgh applied through Pius IX for their restoration to Scotland, they could not be found.

The chief authority for Margaret's life is the contemporary biography printed in "Acta SS.", II, June, 320. Its authorship has been ascribed to Turgot, the saint's confessor, a monk of Durham and later Archbishop of St. Andrews, and also to Theodoric, a somewhat obscure monk; but in spite of much controversy the point remains quite unsettled. The feast of St. Margaret is now observed by the whole Church on 10 June.

Sources

Acta SS., II, June, 320; CAPGRAVE, Nova Legenda Angliae (London, 1515), 225; WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY, Gesta Regum in P.L., CLXXIX, also in Rolls Series, ed. STUBBS (London, 1887-9); CHALLONER, Britannia Sancta, I (London, 1745), 358; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 10 June; STANTON, Menology of England and Wales (London, 1887), 544; FORBES-LEITH, Life of St. Margaret. . . (London, 1885); MADAN, The Evangelistarium of St. Margaret in Academy (1887); BELLESHEIM, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, tr. Blair, III (Edinburgh, 1890), 241-63.

Huddleston, Gilbert. "St. Margaret of Scotland." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1910. 9 Jun. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09655c.htm>.


Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Anita G. Gorman.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.



Edward Burne-Jones (1833, Birmingham - 1898, Fulham). Sainte Marguerite 1894 Carton de vitrail réalisé par la firme W. Morris, pour l'Eglise Sainte-Marguerite de Rottingdean (Grande-Bretagne) Craies de couleur sur papier marouflé sur toile 214 x 61 cm H.G.: Rotting Dean.St.Margaret's Ch. two light window right hand light.S.Margareth. Achat à Georges Martin du Nord (Paris) en 1968 Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain de la Ville de Strasbourg. Inv. : 2326


St. Margaret Queen of Scotland (1047-1093)

Queen Margaret of Scotland was by birth an English Princess, grand-daughter of Edmund Ironside. When Edmund died and the English people chose Cnut to be their king, Edmund’s infant sons were sent abroad to the protection of King Stephen of Hungary. One of the twins died young, but the other, Edward Atheling, was brought up as a protégé of Stephen’s Queen, Gisela, and regarded in that foreign Court as the heir to the Anglo-Saxon throne. He married a cousin of Gisela, the Princess Agatha. Their marriage was blessed by one son, Edgar, and two daughters, Christian and Margaret.

Much has been written about the significance of the name, Margaret. It came originally from the Greek, margaron, meaning pearl. For that reason Margaret was sometimes called “The Pearl of Scotland,” to which her biographer, Turgot, comments, “the fairness pre-shadowed in her name was eclipsed in the surpassing grace of her soul.”

When Cnut died in 1035, his sons Harold and Harthacnut reigned for seven years. Then the English determined they must have a king of their own blood, thus paving the way for Edward (afterwards the Confessor) to be chosen. He, too, was an exile, brought up in Normandy under Benedictine influences. Never attracted by worldly things, his palace was more monastery than court. He himself was a virtuous man who protected the kingdom by means of peace rather than violence. The ruling of an earthly kingdom, however, was of little interest to him. Having vowed to live in virginity, he resolved to bring Edward the Exile and his family back from Hungary in order to secure the succession to the throne of England.

Edward, his wife and three children set out from Hungary in 1054, but whether from natural or sinister causes, Edward died immediately on landing. His widow and three children found themselves again living in dependence at court. Now, however, they were in a position of importance, Edgar being the heir to the throne.

Margaret was about ten years old when she came to England. The impression seems to have been that she was a tall, handsome girl of Saxon type, but the early chronicles were so busy describing the beauty of her nature that they say little about her appearance. We know that she read the Scriptures in Latin, and it is almost certain that she was familiar with the writings of St. Augustine.

During some of these years another prince enjoyed the hospitality of Edward the Confessor. When his father, Duncan, was murdered by Macbeth, Malcolm III of Scotland was sent for safety to the English Court. There he met Margaret, his future wife and Queen.

When Edward the Confessor died, the only direct heirs to the throne of England were Edgar, Margaret, and Christian. According to the law of the land, however, they had no constitutional claim to the throne: Edgar not having been born in England and not being the son of the crowned king, and a princess not being eligible (at that time) to reign in her own right. And so, the people unanimously chose Harold, son of Earl Godwine, to be their king. But William of Normandy, England’s rival across the water, was only biding his time until all his preparations were made. Then, at the Battle of Hastings, Harold was killed.

Upon Harold’s death, Edgar was halfheartedly chosen king (he was a very weak character), but was never crowned. Edgar’s supporters soon saw they had no chance against the well-equipped Norman forces, and so Edgar and the leaders of Church and State waited at Berkhampstead to offer William the Conqueror homage. Seeing the affairs of the English disturbed on every side, and fearing retaliation by his conqueror, the royal family resolved to return to Hungary. They took ship, but a fierce gale drove them northwards forcing their vessel to take shelter in the Firth of Forth. The royal travelers landed in a sheltered bay on the Fifeshire coast, since called St. Margaret’s Hope, where Malcolm, now King of Scotland, hastened to welcome the friends he had known in England.

Margaret was about twenty years old. She would find a primitive style of life at Dunfermline, where the royal residence was located. It was a time of great poverty in Scotland and though the people were nominally Christian, Church life was at a low ebb.

Malcolm was then about forty years old, a widower with one son. He was deeply attracted to Margaret, whose own inclination and upbringing had prepared her for the cloister rather than the throne. It was only after long consideration, yielding to her friends and advisors, that Margaret was married in 1070 at age twenty-four to the King of Scotland. Through the influence she acquired over her husband, she softened her husband’s temper, polished his manners, and rendered him one of the most virtuous kings who have ever occupied the Scottish throne.

What she did for her husband, Margaret also did in a great measure for her adopted country. Though a contemplative by nature, she lived the ordered life of prayer and work taught by St. Benedict, combining the virtues of Martha and Mary in an exemplary fashion. Through her tireless efforts, she reformed both the spiritual and social milieu in Scotland, supported in these endeavors by her devoted husband. She promoted education and religion, made it her constant effort to obtain good priests and teachers for all parts of the country, founded several churches, built hospitals, and cared for the poor. Despite her royal position, she regarded herself merely as the steward of God’s riches, living in the spirit of inward poverty, looking on nothing as her own, but recognizing that everything she possessed was to be used for the purposes of God. The miracle is that the Scots, ever jealous of their liberties, accepted the reforms she introduced!

Her charity was unbounded. She thought of her poorest subjects before herself, often feeding orphans, taking in the homeless, and performing other acts of charity. Tradition says that Margaret used to sit on a stone outside the castle so that anyone in trouble might come to her. Another tradition describes a daily custom at Dunfermline in which any destitute poor could come in the morning to the royal hall where the King and Queen themselves would serve provide for their needs. She also had great compassion on the English captives in Scotland, often paying their ransoms and setting them free.

Such a life could not fail to be a power for good, and for centuries Margaret was honored as the ideal of a holy woman who lived in the world. She was a reformer of life and religion rather than the institutional Church. In the process, she improved the standard of living in Scotland and revived the religious life of the people.

Margaret had eight children, six sons and two daughters. Of the sons, Edward, the eldest, was killed in battle, Ethelred died young, and Edmund “fell away from the good.” But the three youngest sons were the jewels in the crown: Edgar, Alexander, and David are remembered among the best kings Scotland ever had.

It is an interesting fact that of all the saints canonized by the Church of Rome, Margaret stands alone as the happy mother of a large family. It is that image which we use as our parish logo.

Towards the end of her life she and King Malcolm lived in the Castle of Edinburgh, none of which remains with the exception of her little chapel, pictured on the opposite page of this article. It was here that she died, a few days after she heard that her husband and eldest son had been killed in battle. Margaret was not yet fifty when she died.

Though Margaret’s achievements were great, her selfless spirit in which she achieved them was greater still, for the height of perfection and blessedness does not consist in the performance of wonderful works but in the purity of love.

Margaret was canonized in 1250, and was named Patroness of Scotland in 1673. Her feast day had been June 10th, but is presently celebrated on November 16th.

(...)



June 10

ST MARGARET OF SCOTLAND, MATRON [1] (A.N. 1093)

Margaret was a daughter of Edward d'Outremer ("The Exile"), next of kin to Edward the Confessor, and sister to Edgar the Atheling, who took refuge from William the Conqueror at the court of King Malcolm Canmore in Scotland. [She was born in Hungary from Edward's Hungarian wife, Agatha.] There Margaret, as beautiful as she was good and accomplished, captivated Malcolm, and they were married at the castle of Dunfermline in the year 1070, she being then twenty-four years of age. This marriage was fraught with great blessings for Malcolm and for Scotland. He was rough and uncultured but his disposition was good, and Margaret, through the great influence she acquired over him, softened his temper, polished his manners, and rendered him one of the most virtuous kings who have ever occupied the Scottish throne. To maintain justice, to establish religion, and to make their subjects happy appeared to be their chief object in life. "She incited the king to works of justice, mercy, charity and other virtues", writes an ancient author, "in all which by divine grace she induced him to carry out her pious wishes. For he, perceiving that Christ dwelt in the heart of his queen, was always ready to follow her advice." Indeed, he not only left to her the whole management of his domestic affairs, but also consulted her in state matters.

What she did for her husband Margaret also did in a great measure for her adopted country, promoting the arts of civilization and encouraging education and religion. She found Scotland a prey to ignorance and to many grave abuses, both among priests and people. At her instigation synods were held which passed enactments to meet these evils. She herself was present at these meetings, taking part in the discussions. The due observance of Sundays, festivals and fasts was made obligatory, Easter communion was enjoined upon all, and many scandalous practices, such as simony, usury and incestuous marriages, were strictly prohibited. St Margaret made it her constant effort to obtain good priests and teachers for all parts of the country, and formed a kind of embroidery guild among the ladies of the court to provide vestments and church furniture. With her husband she founded several churches, notably that of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline.

God blessed the couple with a family of six sons and two daughters, and their mother brought them up with the utmost care, herself instructing them in the Christian faith and superintending their studies. The daughter Matilda afterwards married Henry I of England and was known as Good Queen Maud, [2] whilst three of the sons, Edgar, Alexander and David, successively occupied the Scottish throne, the last named being revered as a saint. St Margaret's care and attention was extended to her servants and household as well as to her own family; yet in spite of all the state affairs and domestic duties which devolved upon her, she kept her heart disengaged from the world and recollected in God. Her private life was most austere: she ate sparingly, and in order to obtain time for her devotions she permitted herself very little sleep. Every year she kept two Lents, the one at the usual season, the other before Christmas. At these times she always rose at midnight and went to the church for Matins, the king often sharing her vigil. On her return she washed the feet of six poor persons and gave them alms.

She also had stated times during the day for prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures. Her own copy of the Gospels was on one occasion inadvertently dropped into a river, but sustained no damage beyond a small watermark on the cover: that book is now preserved amongst the treasures of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Perhaps St Margaret's most outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. She often visited the sick and tended them with her own hands. She erected hostels for strangers and ransomed many captives -- preferably those of English nationality. When she appeared outside in public she was invariably surrounded by beggars, none of whom went away unrelieved, and she never sat down at table without first having fed nine little orphans and twenty-four adults. Often -- especially during Advent and Lent -- the king and queen would entertain three hundred poor persons, serving them on their knees with dishes similar to those provided for their own table.

In 1093 King William Rufus surprised Alnwick castle, putting its garrison to the sword. King Malcolm in the ensuing hostilities was killed by treachery, and his son Edward was also slain. St Margaret at this time was lying on her death-bed. The day her husband was killed she was overcome with sadness and said to her attendants, "Perhaps this day a greater evil hath befallen Scotland than any this long time." When her son Edgar arrived back from Alnwick she asked how his father and brother were. Afraid of the effect the news might have upon her in her weak state, he replied that they were well. She exclaimed, "I know how it is!" Then raising her hands towards Heaven she said, "I thank thee, Almighty God, that in sending me so great an affliction in the last hour of my life, thou wouldst purify me from my sins, as I hope, by thy mercy." Soon afterwards she repeated the words, "O Lord Jesus Christ who by thy death hast given life to the world, deliver me from all evil!" and breathed her last. She died four days after her husband, on November 16, 1093, being in her forty-seventh year, and was buried in the church of the abbey of Dunfermline which she and her husband had founded. St Margaret was canonized in 1250 and was named patroness of Scotland in 1673.

The beautiful memoir of St Margaret which we probably owe to Turgot, prior of Durham and afterwards bishop of St Andrews, a man who knew her well and had heard the confession of her whole life, leaves a wonderfully inspiring picture of the influence she exercised over the rude Scottish court. Speaking of the care she took to provide suitable vestments and altar linen for the service of God, he goes on:

These works were entrusted to certain women of noble birth and approved gravity of manners who were thought worthy of a part in the queen's service. No men were admitted among them, with the sole exception of such as she permitted to enter along with herself when she paid the women an occasional visit. There was no giddy pertness among them, no light familiarity between them and the men; for the queen united so much strictness with her sweetness of temper, so pleasant was she even in her severity, that all who waited upon her, men as well as women, loved her while they feared her, and in fearing loved her. Thus it came to pass that while she was present no one ventured to utter even one unseemly word, much less to do aught that was objectionable. There was a gravity in her very joy, and something stately in her anger. With her, mirth never expressed itself in fits of laughter, nor did displeasure kindle into fury. Sometimes she chid the faults of others -- her own always -- with that commendable severity tempered with justice which the Psalmist directs us unceasingly to employ, when he says "Be ye angry and sin not". Every action of her life was regulated by the balance of the nicest discretion, which impressed its own distinctive character upon each single virtue. When she spoke, her conversation was seasoned with the salt of wisdom; when she was silent, her silence was filled with good thoughts. So thoroughly did her outward bearing correspond with the staidness of her character that it seemed as if she had been born the pattern of a virtuous life. I may say, in short, every word that she uttered, every act that she performed, showed that she was meditating on the things of Heaven.

By far the most valuable source for the story of St Margaret's life is the account from which the above quotation is taken, which was almost certainly written by Turgot who, in spite of his foreign-sounding name, was a Lincolnshire man of an old Saxon family. The Latin text is in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. ii, and elsewhere; there is an excellent English translation by Fr W. Forbes-Leith (1884). Other materials are furnished by such chroniclers as William of Malmesbury and Simeon of Durham; most of these have been turned to profit in Freeman's Norman Conguest. An interesting account of the history of her relics will be found in DNB., vol. xxxvi. There are modern lives of St Margaret by S. Cowan (1911), L. Menzies (1925), J. R. Barnett (1926) and others. For the date of her feast, see the Acta Sanctorum, Decembris Propylaeum, p. 230.

[1] In Scotland the feast of St Margaret is observed on the anniversary of her death, November 16.

[2] Through this marriage the present British royal house is descended from the pre-Conquest kings of Wessex and England.

Butler's Lives of the Saints, Christian Classics, 1995



Margaret of Scotland

c. 1045 - 1093

Margaret, despite her appellation, was born a Saxon in 1046 and raised in Hungary. She came to England in 1066 when her uncle, King Edward the Confessor, died and Margaret's brother, Edgar Atheling, decided to make a claim to the English throne. The English nobles preferred Harold of Wessex over Edgar, but later that year Duke William of Normandy made it all rather a moot point by invading England and establishing himself as King. Many members of the English nobility sought refuge in the court of King Malcolm III Canmore of Scotland, who had himself been an exile in England during the reign of Macbeth. Among the English refugees were Margaret and Edgar. While King Malcom was hospitable to all his new guests, he was rather more hospitable to Margaret, marrying her in 1070 to make her Queen of Scotland.

Margaret impressed not only Malcolm but many other members of the Scottish Court both for her knowledge of continental customs gained in the court of Hungary, and also for her piety. She became highly influential, both indirectly by her influence on Malcolm as well as through direct activities on her part. Prominent among these activities was religious reform. Margaret instigated reforms within the Scottish church, as well as development of closer ties to the larger Roman Church in order to avoid a schism between the Celtic Church and Rome. Further, Margaret was a patroness both of the c�lid�, Scottish Christian hermits, and also the Benedictine Order. Although Benedictine monks were prominent throughout western continental Europe, there were previously no Benedictine monasteries known to exist in Scotland. Margaret therefore invited English Benedictine monks to establish monasteries in her kingdom.

On the more secular side, Margaret introduced continental fashions, manners, and ceremony to the Scottish court. The popularization of continental fashions had the side-effect of introducing foreign merchants to Scotland, increasing economic ties and communication between Scotland and the continent. Margaret was also a patroness of the arts and education. Further, Malcolm sought Maragret's advice on matters of state, and together with other English exiles Margaret was influential in introducing English-style feudalism and parliament to Scotland.

Margaret was also active in works of charity. Margaret frequently visited and cared for the sick, and on a larger scale had hostels constructed for the poor. She was also in the habit, particularly during Advent and Lent, of holding feasts for as many as 300 commoners in the royal castle.

King Malcolm, meanwhile, was engaged in a contest with William the Conqueror over Northumbria and Cambria. After an unsuccessful 1070 invasion by Malcom into Northumbria followed by an unsuccessful 1072 invasion by William into Scotland, Malcom paid William homage, resulting in temporary peace. William further made assurance of this peace by demanding Malcolm's eldest son Donald (by Malcolm's previous wife Ingibjorg) as a hostage. Time passed, William the Conqueror died, and The Conqueror's son William Rufus took the throne of England. Hostilities again arose between Scotland and England, and in the ensuing unpleasantness Malcolm was killed along with Edward, the eldest son of Malcom and Margaret.

Margaret had already been ill when Malcolm and Edward went off to battle. Her surviving children tried to hide the fact of their deaths, for fear of worsening her condition. But Margaret learnt the truth, and whether due to her illness or a broken heart, Margaret died four days after her husband and son, on November 16, 1093.

The death of both King and Queen led, unfortunately, to yet another unpleasant disagreement, this time over who should take their places on the throne. The most likely candidate was Malcom's eldest son Donald, the one who had been taken hostage by William the Conqueror. This was also the favorite candidate of William Rufus, for during his stay in England Donald had developed a favorable view of the Normans. However, Donald's claim to the throne was contested by Malcom's brother, Donald B�n, together with Malcom and Margaret's son Edmund. Donald B�n was opposed to having a Norman sympathizer on the throne of Scotland, and claimed the throne for himself. Both Donald MacMalcom and Donald B�n held the throne briefly, and lost it violently, before Edgar, son of Malcom and Margaret, came to the throne. He was succeeded by his brothers, Alexander and David. Alexander smoothed over relations with England by marrying the daughter of King Henry I and arranging for Henry to marry Alexander's sister Matilda. Edgar and David carried on their mother's reputation for sanctity, both in their service to the poor and their patronage of religious orders, and David was later canonized. Quite a celebrated family when you consider that Margaret's uncle is also known as Saint Edward the Confessor.

Margaret herself was declared a saint in 1250, particularly for her work for religious reform and her charitable works. She herself was considered to be an exemplar of the just ruler, and also influenced her husband and children to be just and holy rulers. She was further declared Patroness of Scotland in 1673.

Feast Day: June 10 (celebrated November 16 in Scotland)

Sources

• Barrow, G.W.S. The Kingdom of the Scots. Edward Arnold, London, 1973.

• Glover, J.R. The Story of Scotland. Faber and Faber, London, 1960.

• Mitchison, R. A History of Scotland. Methuen & Co., London, 1970.

• Thurston, H.J., Attwater, D. Butler's Lives of the Saints. Christian Classics, Inc., Westminster, MD 1938.



ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND.

SAINT MARGARET'S name signifies "pearl;" "a fitting name," says Theodoric, her confessor and her first biographer, "for one such as she." Her soul was like a precious pearl. A life spent amidst the luxury of a royal court never dimmed its lustre, or stole it away from Him who had bought it with His blood. She was the granddaughter of an English king; and in 1070 she became the bride of Malcolm, and reigned Queen of Scotland till her death in 1093. How did she become a Saint in a position where sanctity is so difficult? First, she burned with zeal for the house of God. She built churches and monasteries; she busied herself in making vestments; she could not rest till she saw the laws of God and His Church observed throughout her realm. Next, amidst a thousand cares, she found time to converse with God—ordering her piety with such sweetness and discretion that she won her husband to sanctity like her own. He used to rise with her at night for prayer; he loved to kiss the holy books she used, and sometimes he would steal them away, and bring them back to his wife covered with jewels. Lastly, with virtues so great, she wept constantly over her sins, and begged her confessor to correct her faults. St. Margaret did not neglect her duties in the world because she was not of it. Never was a better mother. She spared no pains in the education of her eight children, and their sanctity was the fruit of her prudence and her zeal. Never was a better queen. She was the most trusted counsellor of her husband, and she labored for the material improvement of the country. But, in the midst of the world's pleasures, she sighed for the better country, and accepted death as a release. On her deathbed she received the news that her husband and her eldest son were slain in battle. She thanked God, who had sent this last affliction as a penance for her sins. After receiving Holy Viaticum, she was repeating the prayer from the Missal, "O Lord Jesus Christ, who by Thy death didst give life to the world, deliver me." At the words " deliver me," says her biographer, she took her departure to Christ, the Author of true liberty.

REFLECTION.—All perfection consists in keeping a guard upon the heart. Wherever we are, we can make a solitude in our hearts, detach ourselves from the world, and converse familiarly with God. Let us take St. Margaret for our example and encouragement.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Today, ask Saint Margaret to intercede for your needs. Saint Margaret, please pray for (state your prayer request to this saint).

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/saint_margaret_scotland2.htm

Margaret of Scotland, Queen (RM)

Born in Hungary in 1045; died in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1083; additional feast day is June 10.



Margaret was the daughter of the exiled Aetheling Prince Edward (of the line of Saxon kings and son of King Edmund Ironsides) and Agatha (kinswoman of Saint Stephen of Hungary--in the line of the Roman emperors). It is believed that she and her siblings--Edgar and Christina--were all born in exile in Hungary. When Margaret was 12, her family was received at the court of her great uncle Saint Edward the Confessor. Her father died soon after their arrival in England. Although the family did not remain there long, Margaret watched the initial erection of Westminster Abbey. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, the three children and their mother escaped to Scotland, where they were received by King Malcolm, who succeeded the usurper Macbeth. Malcolm immediately fell in love with 21-year-old Margaret and asked Edgar for his sister's hand. Margaret wanted, like her sister who later became an abbess, to enter religious life, but after much prayer, she realized that her vocation was for marriage.

Malcolm (a widower) and Margaret married at Dunfermline around 1068 (their daughter Matilda married the Norman Henry I to reinstitute the old royal blood of England into the descendents of William the Conqueror).

Margaret's first task was to civilize Malcolm, an illiterate barbarian. He was jealous of her, but this allowed him to be molded, "like wax in her hands." She prayed for his conversion, taught him how to pray, and how to show mercy to the poor. After his conversion, they often prayed together. "Turgot tells how `there grew up in the King a sort of dread of offending one whose life was so venerable, for he could not but perceive from her conduct the Christ dwelt within her'" (S. P. Delany).
They were married for 16 years, had six sons and two daughters. Margaret gave them their early religious education. She never spoiled her children (see Douay Chronicles). Edward (son) killed in same battle as Malcolm. Ethelred became a lay abbot; Edmund went astray for a time, but later became a monk; Edgar, Alexander and David (David reigned 29 years) became three of Scotland's best kings; Matilda married Henry I of England (known as Good Queen Maud, who washed and kissed the feet of lepers); Mary married Count Eustace of Bologna and was the mother of Matilda of whom was born Stephen, the English king.

Margaret urged Malcolm to reform his kingdom. She ransomed slaves. She also used her influence to reform abuses in the national Church to bring the Scottish Church into harmony with the rest of the Catholic Church. She wrote to Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent Friar Goldwin and two other monks to instruct her. They settled in a Benedictine priory at Dunfermline, Fife, where she built a new and exquisite church in 1072, dedicated to the Blessed Trinity. Then an ecclessiastical council was held with Malcolm acting as interpreter. She restored the monastery at Iona, provided vestments and chalices, etc. for churches, and established a palace workshop to train women in the making of ecclessiastical vestments.

Margaret developed a deep friendship with her confessor, Prior Turgot, who built the superb Norman cathedral at Durham. He had been one of William the Conqueror's prisoners and had escaped to Norway where he had taught sacred music at the royal court. He told the story of her spiritual life in Latin (translated by W. Forbes-Leith, S.J.).

Margaret's faithful prayer brought blessings on her family and nation. She kept herself humble through severe self-discipline. She repeated Breviary daily, attended five or six Masses daily, and waited on 24 poor people before partaking of her frugal meals. Endless days of toil, nights of prayer and self-discipline brought on an early death, which she accurately predicted (Bentley, S. P. Delany).

Returning thanks after meals is known as Saint Margaret's Blessing.

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/1116.shtml

St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland


St. Margaret was an English princess. She and her mother 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. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long.
As Queen, Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. Malcolm was good, but he and his court were very rough. 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. They seemed to have only one desire: to make everyone happy and good.
Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Before she came, there was great ignorance and many bad habits among them. Margaret 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. The youngest boy became St. David. But Margaret had sorrows, too. In her last illness, she learned that both her husband and her son, Edward, had been killed in battle. Yet she prayed: “I thank You, Almighty God, for sending me so great a sorrow to purify me from my sins.”
Let us take this saintly Queen for our example. While we do our duties, let us keep in mind the joys that God will give us in Heaven. Her feast day is November 16th.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-margaret/


St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland

From her life written by Theodoric, a monk of Durham, her Confessarius, and afterwards by St. Aëlred: also from the Scottish and English historians. See Fordun, Scoti-chron. l. 5, c. 15, vol. 2, p. 413, ed. Hearne.

A.D. 1093.

ST. MARGARET was little niece to St. Edward the Confessor, and granddaughter to Edmund Ironside. Upon the death of the latter, who was treacherously murdered by Count Edric in 1017, Canute or Canutus the Dane, who had before obtained by agreement Mercia and the northern provinces, caused himself to be acknowledged by the bishops, ealdormen, and other chief men of the nation, king of all England, and guardian to the two infant sons of his late colleague, Edward and Edmund, till they should be of age to succeed to the crown of the West-Saxons. But Canute, though he punished the traitor Edric, yet seemed to love the treason, and secretly sent the two young princes to the King of Sweden, that they might by him be made away with. The Swede refused to imbrue his hands in their innocent blood, though he feared the power of Canute, who had added Norway to his native kingdom of Denmark by a treachery no less execrable than that by which he usurped the dominions of these innocent royal children in England. The Swede therefore generously sent the two princes to Solomon, king of Hungary, by whom they were kindly received and educated. Edmund, the elder of them, died; but Edward, the younger, marrying Agatha, sister to the queen, and according to some authors, niece to the Emperor Conrad, a most virtuous and accomplished princess, had by her Edgar, surnamed Etheling, Christina a nun, and St. Margaret. Canute reigned in such a manner as to appear worthy to wear the crown, had it been acquired without ambition and injustice. He was succeeded after his death in Norway by his eldest son Swane, in Denmark by his favourite second son Hardecnute; and in England in 1036, Harold was chosen king, who is said to have been also a son of Canute, though he much degenerated from his virtues both in peace and war. After his death in 1039, Hardecnute came into England, and was acknowledged king, but died two years after. Whereupon Edward the Confessor was called to the crown in 1041. He by ambassadors invited Edward, surnamed Outremer or Etheling, over from Hungary with his children, and received them honourably at London in 1054, where Edward Outremer died three years after, and was buried in St. Paul’s church. At the death of St. Edward, Edgar being but young, and a stranger born, had not interest enough to oppose the powerful party by which Count Harold was placed on the throne in 1066, pretending the crown to have been bequeathed him by the late king, as Hoveden and others relate. But William the Norman affirmed that it had been promised him by St. Edward, and invading England, slew Harold in a great battle near Hastings on the 14th of October, 1066. Many English desired to raise Edgar, the lawful Saxon heir, to the throne; but he was unable to make good his claim by arms, and therefore with the rest of the nobility received the victorious Norman at London. But some time after, he secretly fled from the tyranny of the conqueror, and left the kingdom. The ship in which he put to sea was by a tempest driven upon the coast of Scotland, where Malcolm or Milcolumb III. entertained him and his sister in the most courteous manner. He had the more tender feeling for the misfortune of, the royal exile, having formerly been himself in a like situation. For Macbeth, general of part of the troops, having killed his father, King Donald or Duncan VII., usurped the throne, and Malcolm only saved his life by flight. After wandering over many places, he found a secure retreat in the court of Edward the Confessor, who assisting him with ten thousand men, he marched into Scotland, was joined by his friends, and overcame and slew Macbeth, who had then held his usurped crown seventeen years. Malcolm having thus recovered his dominions, was declared king at Scone in 1057. When Edgar arrived in his dominions, the sight of the young prince and princess made him feel all the weight of their affliction. He gave them the best reception his kingdom could afford, and it gave him the highest pleasure that it was in his power to show them courtesy. William the Norman sent to demand them to be delivered into his hands. Malcolm rejected with horror so base a treachery. Whereupon a war ensued. The Scots defeated Roger, a Norman general, in Northumberland, and afterwards Richard, earl of Gloucester. Upon which William sent his brother Odo, earl of Kent, into Northumberland; but Malcolm gave him a considerable overthrow, and recovered the booty which he had taken. After this, the haughty Norman sent his son Robert at the head of an army who encamped on the Tyne, but without doing anything, except building the city of Newcastle upon Tyne; and soon after the Norman agreed to a peace on these conditions, that he should restore Sibert, earl of Northumberland, and leave Cumberland as formerly to the Scots; that he should treat Prince Edgar as his friend, and that the boundaries of the two kingdoms should be King’s Cross on Stanemoor, between Richmonshire and Cumberland, which should have the statues and arms of the two kings of England and Scotland on each side.

Malcolm was so much taken with the virtues of the Princess Margaret, that he most impatiently desired to make her his royal consort. She had learned from her cradle to contemn the vanities of the world, and to regard its pleasures as a poison to the heart, and the bane of virtue. Her amazing beauty, her rare prudence, her wit, and her extraordinary virtue could not fail to excite the admiration of the whole court. But it was her only desire and ambition to render herself agreeable to the King of kings. She seemed to relish no earthly pleasure, finding all delight in the incomparable charms of divine love, which flowed into her pure soul chiefly by the means of assiduous prayer and meditation, in which holy exercises she often spent whole days. She took great pleasure in relieving and serving the poor, and in comforting all who were in distress, considering Christ in his necessitous members. Her consent being obtained, she was married, and crowned queen of Scotland in 1070, being twenty-four years of age. The marriage was solemnized at the king’s royal castle of Dumfermline, built in the midst of a beautiful plain, surrounded with woods, rocks, and rivers, by its situation almost inaccessible to men or beasts, says Fordun, and strongly fortified by art. The Scottish historian adds, that she brought a great fortune to the king in the immense treasures she had carried off from England, together with many most precious relics. Among these was the Black Cross, held in the highest veneration in Scotland in succeeding ages. Malcolm was rough and unpolished, but neither haughty nor capricious; and had no evil inclinations. Margaret, by the most tender complaisance, and the most condescending and engaging carriage, always full of respect, gained so great an ascendant over him, as to seem entirely mistress of his heart; which influence she only exerted to make religion and justice reign, to render her subjects happy, and her husband one of the most virtuous kings that have adorned the Scottish throne. She softened his temper, cultivated his mind, polished his manners, and inspired him with the most perfect maxims and sentiments of all Christian virtues. And so much was the king charmed with her wisdom and piety, that he not only left to her the whole management of his domestic affairs, but followed her prudent advice in the government of the state. In the midst of the most weighty concerns and cares of a kingdom, Margaret always kept her heart disengaged from the love of the world, and recollected in God. The continual attention of her soul to him in all her actions, assiduous prayer, and the constant practice of self-denial were the means by which chiefly she attained to this perfection. At the same time her prudence and care in all things, her application to public and private affairs, her watchfulness in providing for the good of her subjects, and the wonderful ease and wisdom with which she discharged every duty of the regal authority, showed her most extensive genius to the astonishment of foreign nations.

God blessed this pious royal couple with a numerous and virtuous offspring, which did not degenerate from the piety of their holy parents. The queen was mother of six boys: Edward, Edmund, Edgar, Ethelred, Alexander, and David: and of two daughters; namely, Maud or Mathildes, married to Henry I., king of England, and Mary who married Eustache, count of Bologne. Of the sons Edgar, Alexander, and David I., successively came to the crown of Scotland, and all governed with the highest reputation of wisdom, valour, and piety; especially king David, who may be justly styled the brightest ornament of that throne. The happiness of these princes and that of the whole kingdom in them, was owing, under God, to the pious care of queen Margaret in their education. She did not suffer them to be brought up in vanity, pride, or pleasures, which is too often the misfortune of those who are born in courts. She inspired them with an early indifference to the things of the world, with the greatest ardour for virtue, the purest love of God, fear of his judgments, and dread of sin. She chose for them the ablest preceptors and governors, persons eminently endued with the spirit of piety and religion; and would suffer none but such to approach them, being sensible that tender minds receive the strongest and most lasting impressions from the behaviour of those with whom they converse, especially masters. Instructions are dry, but the words and actions of persons breathe the spirit and sentiments of their hearts, and insensibly communicate the same to others, especially where this influence is strengthened by authority. The zealous mother watched over the masters, examined the progress of her children, and often instructed them herself in all Christian duties. No sooner were the young princesses of an age capable of profiting by her example, than she made them her companions in her spiritual exercises and good works. She daily by most fervent prayers and tears conjured Almighty God to preserve their innocence, and fill their souls with the sentiments of those virtues which she endeavoured to instil into them. She extended her care and attention to her servants and domestics, and the sweetness and tender charity with which she seasoned her lessons, rendered her endeavours the more effectual. By her prudent zeal and example, concord, charity, modesty, religion, piety, and devotion reigned in the whole court, in which virtue was the only recommendation to the royal favour, and to want devotion was the most certain disgrace.

The holy queen remembered that by the rank in which Providence had placed her, and by the authority which the king lodged in her, the whole kingdom was her family. She found it overrun with many abuses, and plunged in shameful ignorance of many essential duties of religion. It was her first care to procure holy and zealous pastors and preachers to be established in all parts of her dominions. She seconded their ministry with the weight of the royal authority, and that of all the magistrates, to abolish the criminal neglect of abstaining from servile work on Sundays and holydays, and of observing the fast of Lent, with many other abuses; and had the comfort to see, by her zealous endeavours, the strict observance of Lent restored, and the devout celebration of Sundays and festivals enforced, the people consecrating those days to God both by assisting at the whole church office, and instructions, and by private devotions. Simony, usury, incestuous marriages, superstition, sacrileges, and other scandalous abuses were also banished. Many neglected to receive the holy communion even at Easter, alleging a fear of approaching it unworthily. She showed this pretence to be only a cloak for sloth and impenitence, engaged sinners to cancel their crimes by worthy fruits of repentance, and contributed very much to revive the spirit of penance, and frequent communion. She laboured most successfully to polish and civilize the Scottish nation, to encourage among that people both the useful and polite arts, and to inspire them with a love of the sciences, and with the principles of all the social and moral virtues. All which she incited her husband to promote by many salutary laws and regulations. Charity to the poor was her darling virtue. Her own coffers could not suffice her liberality to them; and often she employed upon them part of what the king had reserved for his own use and necessities; which liberty he freely allowed her. Whenever she stirred out of her palace, she was surrounded by troops of widows, orphans, and other distressed persons who flocked to her as to their common mother; nor did she ever send any one away without relief. Within doors, when she went into the hall of the palace, she found it filled with poor people: she washed their feet, and served them herself. She never sat down to table without having first fed and waited on nine little orphans and twenty-four grown-up poor. Often, especially in Lent and Advent, the royal couple called in three hundred poor, served them at table on their knees, she the women on one side, the king the men on the other; giving them the same dishes that were served up at their own royal table. She frequently visited the hospitals, attending the sick with wonderful humility and tenderness. By her extensive alms insolvent debtors were released, and decayed families restored; and foreign nations, especially the English, recovered their captives. She was inquisitive and solicitous to ransom those especially who fell into the hands of harsh masters. She erected hospitals for poor strangers. The king most readily concurred with her in all manner of good works. “He learned from her,” says Theodoric, “often to watch the night in prayer. I could not sufficiently admire to see the fervour of this prince at prayer, and to discover so much compunction of heart and such tears of devotion in a secular man.” “She excited the king,” says another ancient author, “to the works of justice, mercy, almsdeeds, and other virtues; in all which, by divine grace, she brought him to be most ready to comply with her pious inclinations. For he seeing that Christ dwelt in the heart of his queen, was always willing to follow her counsels.”

The small time which the queen allowed herself for sleep, and the retrenchment of all amusements and pastimes, procured her many hours in the day for her devotions. In Lent and Advent she always rose at midnight, and went to church to Matins. Returning home she found six poor persons ready for her: she washed their feet and gave to each a plentiful alms to begin the day. She then slept again an hour or two; and after that rising returned to her chapel, where she heard four or five low masses, and after these a high mass. She had other hours in the day for prayer in her closet, where she was often found bathed in tears. “As to her own eating, it was so sparing that it barely sufficed to maintain life, and by no means to gratify the appetite,” says Theodoric. “She seemed rather only to taste than to take her meal. In a word, her works were more wonderful than her miracles; though these were not wanting to her.” The same author, who was her confessor, writes: “She was endowed with a wonderful spirit of compunction. When she would be speaking to me of the sweetness of everlasting life, her words were full of all grace. So great was her fervour and compunction on these occasions, that she seemed as if she would quite melt into tears; so that her devotion drew also from me tears of compunction. In the church no one was more still in silence, no one more intent than she at prayer.” She often importuned her confessor to admonish her of whatever he perceived blameworthy in her words or actions; and was displeased that he was, as she thought, remiss in this charitable office. Her humility made her desire reprehensions and correction, which the pride of others cannot brook. Every year she kept two Lents of forty days each; the one at the usual time, the other before Christmas; both with incredible rigour. She recited every day the short offices of the Holy Trinity, of the passion of Christ, of the Blessed Virgin, and of the dead.

King Malcolm, after his war against William the Conqueror in Northumberland, was disturbed by a rebellion of the Highlanders both in the north and west of Scotland. He composed the north in person; and Walter his general reduced to obedience the rebels in the west. 1 Malcolm from that time applied himself to improve his kingdom by the arts of peace. He first reformed his own family; and afterwards enacted sumptuary laws, and remedied abuses which had crept in among the people. He built the cathedral of Durham, 2 and made the abbot of that place bishop of St. Andrew’s, and added the bishoprics of Murray and Caithness to the former four in Scotland. He concurred with his queen in founding the monastery of the Holy Trinity at Dumfermlin. St. Margaret, by her wise counsels, had perfectly convinced her royal consort that the love of peace is the first duty of him who is the common father of his people; war being the greatest of all temporal calamities. Those warlike princes whose heads were crowned with laurels, and whose triumphs dazzle the world, and swell the pages of history with so much pomp, were the scourges of the earth, especially of their own nations, at least in the ages wherein they lived; and their sounding achievements and victories, when placed in the light in which faith commands us to consider them, will appear no better than a long series of boundless ambition, murders, plunder of whole countries, and the most heavy oppression of their own people. Malcolm, however, did not forget that it is an indispensable duty of a king to be expert in war, and always in readiness, that he be not wanting to the protection which he owes his people. William Rufus, who came to the throne of England in 1037, surprised the castle of Alnwick in Northumberland, and put the garrison to the sword. Malcolm demanded restitution, which being denied, he besieged it. The English garrison being reduced to great extremity, offered to surrender, and desired the king to come and receive the keys with his own hand; but the soldier who presented them to him upon the point of a spear, by a base treachery thrust the spear into his eye whilst the king was stretching out his hand to take the keys, and killed him. His son Edward carried on the siege to revenge the death of his father, but advancing too eagerly was slain in an assault. Whereupon the Scots were so much afflicted that they raised the siege and retired, having buried their king and prince at Tinmouth. Their bodies were soon after removed to Dumfermlin. Malcolm reigned thirty-three years, and died in 1093. His name is found in some Scottish calendars enrolled among the saints.

This misfortune was to the good queen an affliction which only her heroic virtue enabled her to bear with resignation. She lay at the same time on her death-bed. Theodoric gives the following account of her last sickness: “She had a foresight of her death long before it happened; and speaking to me in secret, she began to repeat to me in order her whole life, pouring out floods of tears at every word with unspeakable compunction; so that she obliged me also to weep; and sometimes we could neither of us speak for sighs and sobs. At the end she spoke thus to me: Farewell; for I shall not be here long: you will stay some little time behind me. Two things I have to desire of you: the one is, that so long as you live, you remember my poor soul in your masses and prayers: the other is, that you assist my children, and teach them to fear and love God. These things you must promise me here in the presence of God, who alone is witness of our discourse.” She survived this about half a year, during which she was seldom able to rise out of bed, and her pains daily increased upon her, which she bore with incredible patience, in silence and prayer. In the expedition into Northumberland mentioned above, she endeavoured to dissuade her husband from marching with his army; but he that only time dissented from her advice, imagining it to proceed only from concern for his safety, and reflecting that the presence of a sovereign raises the courage of the soldiery. His death happened four days before that of the queen. She, on the day he was killed, appeared melancholy and sad, and said to those about her: “Perhaps this day a greater evil hath befallen Scotland than any this long time.” On the fourth day, her pains being somewhat abated, she got up, and went into her oratory, where she received the holy Viaticum. Then feeling the redoublement of her fever with her pains return upon her, she laid herself down again, and desired her chaplains to recite the psalms by her, and to recommend her soul to God. In the mean time she called for the black cross. She embraced, and signed herself frequently with it; then held it with both her hands before her, and with her eyes fixed upon it, recited the Miserere psalm and other prayers. Her son Edgar coming in from the army, she asked him how his father and brother did? He, fearing to alarm her, said they were well. She answered him: “I know how it is.” Then, lifting up her hands to heaven, she praised God, saying: “I thank thee Almighty God that in sending me so great an affliction in the last hour of my life, thou wouldst purify me from my sins, as I hope by thy mercy.” Not long after, finding her last moments to approach, she repeated from the prayers of the church for that occasion, the following aspiration: “O Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy death hast given life to the world, deliver me from all evil.” Praying thus, she was loosed from the bonds of her mortal body on the 16th of November, 1093, in the forty-seventh year of her age. She was canonized by Pope Innocent IV. in 1251. Her feast was removed by Innocent XII. in 1693, from the day of her death to the 10th of June. Her body was interred, according to her desire, in the church which she had built in honour of the Holy Trinity at Dumfermlin, fifteen miles from Edinburgh. 3 At the change of religion in Scotland the remains of St. Margaret and her husband were privately rescued from the plundering mob, and the principal parts afterwards carried into Spain, when king Philip II. built a chapel in the palace of the Escurial, in honour of St. Margaret, for their reception. They still continue there with this inscription on the shrine: “St. Malcolm King, and St. Margaret Queen.” But the head of St. Margaret having been carried to Edinburgh, to Queen Mary Stuart, after her flight into England, it was by a Benedictin monk conveyed to Antwerp in 1597, and afterwards by him given to the Scots Jesuits at Douay, in whose church it is still kept in a silver case. 4

The succession of saints which in the posterity of St. Margaret afterwards filled the throne of Scotland, 5 the sanctification of a court, and of a kingdom was, under God, the fruit of her zeal and pious example. So great and public a blessing is a virtuous wife, and a virtuous mother of a family. Every neighbour is bound at least by example and prayer, especially every parent, master and mistress, also by correction and exhortation, to endeavour to impart to others, particularly those under their care, this inestimable happiness of piety. As St. Charles Borromeo inculcates, 6 parents can leave no treasure to their children, nor can masters bestow on servants any recompense for their fidelity in any respect comparable to this of virtue. Let all superiors who neglect this duty tremble, and reflect that an account will be required of them at the dreadful tribunal of Christ for the sins of those under their care, which by a faithful discharge of their duty they might have prevented. In this sense, as St. Austin observes, is every master bound to be bishop or pastor of his family; and every Christian, at least by example, to his neighbour. But alas! how many make themselves apostles of Satan, and become to others an odour not of life but of death. The baneful example of tepidity and sin, especially in those who are placed in authority, lays families, and the whole world desolate; for to the influence of scandal is owing the universal inundation of vice, ignorance, and insensibility with regard to spiritual duties, which no floods of tears can ever sufficiently lament. On this account is the world declared the enemy of Christ, and is loaded with his curses.

Note 1. In recompense the king created him high steward of Scotland, from which office his posterity took their surname of Stuart: they came to the crown in King Robert II. nephew to King David Bruce, or David II. in 1371. [back]

Note 2. Fordun, Scoti-chron. l. 5, c. 17, vol. 2, p. 417. [back]

Note 3. Fordun, Scoti-chron. ed Hearne, t. 2, l. 5, c. 21, p. 425. [back]

Note 4. See Bolland. Acta Sanct. [back]

Note 5. Maud, the daughter of St. Margaret, and first wife to Henry I. of England, to faithfully imitated the humility, charity, and other virtues of our saint, that she has been ranked by our ancestors in the catalogue of the saints, on the 30th of April. She built two great hospitals in London, that of Christ’s-Church, within Aldgate, and that called St. Giles’s, and was buried at Westminster, near the body of St. Edward the Confessor. (See Hoveden, ad an. 1118. Westm. et Paris eodem anno.) As to the surviving sons of St. Margaret, after a short usurpation of Duncan, Edgar reigned in peace nine years, reverenced by all the good and feared by the bad. Alexander I. succeeding him, with uncommon bravery extinguished several rebellions in the beginning of his reign; after which he built several churches and monasteries, particularly one in the isle of Emona, in honour of St. Colm, endowing them, and principally the church of St. Andrew, with large revenues. He filled the throne seventeen years. After him David I. reigned twenty-nine years. He equalled the most pious of his predecessors in condescension and charity to the poor, and surpassed them all in prudence and justice, condemning his judges most rigorously in cases of false judgment. He founded and endowed four bishoprics, namely, those of Ross, Brechin, Dunkelden, and Dunblaine; and fourteen abbeys, six of which were of the Cistercian Order. After the death of his virtuous wife Sibyl, niece to William the Conqueror, he lived twenty years a widower. He bore the death of his own most hopeful son with astonishing patience amidst the mourning of the whole kingdom. Upon that occasion he invited the chief nobility to supper, and comforted them, saying: “That it would be foolish and impious to repine in anything whatever, at the will of God, which is always most holy, just, and wise; and that seeing good men must die, we ought to comfort ourselves, because no evil can happen to them that serve God, either alive or dead.” He recommended his three grandsons, especially Malcolm the eldest, to the nobility, and afterwards died in the greatest sentiments of piety at Carlisle, on the 29th of May, 1153. His name was placed among the saints in many Scottish calendars. His grandson King Malcolm IV. surnamed the Maiden, is also esteemed a saint. He was so great a lover of peace that he bore the most manifest wrongs rather than he would see a war lighted up. He built many churches and monasteries, and was remarkable for his angelical purity, meekness, and humility. His extraordinary virtues are highly extolled by Neubrigensis, one of our most exact historians, l. 1, c. 25, l. 2, c. 18, and Fordun, from p. 689 to 700, ed. Hearne. [back]

Note 6. In Conc. Mediol. v. parte 3. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume VI: June. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/6/101.html

Santa Margherita di Scozia Regina e vedova


- Memoria Facoltativa

Ungheria, circa 1046 - Edimburgo, Scozia, 16 novembre 1093

Figlia di Edoardo, re inglese in esilio per sfuggire all'usurpatore Canuto, Margherita nacque in Ungheria intorno al 1046. Sua madre, Agata, discendeva dal santo re magiaro Stefano. Quando aveva nove anni suo padre potè tornare sul trono; ma presto dovette fuggire ancora, questa volta in Scozia. E qui Margherita a 24 anni fu sposa del re Malcom III, da cui ebbe sei figli maschi e due femmine. Il Messale romano la descrive come «modello di madre e di regina per bontà e saggezza». Si racconta che il re non sapesse leggere e avesse un grande rispetto per questa moglie istruita: baciava i libri di preghiera che la vedeva leggere con devozione. Caritatevole verso i poveri, gli orfani, i malati, li assisteva personalmente e invitava Malcom III a fare altrettanto. Già gravemente ammalata ricevette la notizia dell'uccisione del marito e del figlio maggiore nella battaglia di Alnwick: disse di offrire questa sofferenza come riparazione dei propri peccati. Morì a Edimburgo il 16 novembre 1093. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Margherita = perla, dal greco e latino

Martirologio Romano: Santa Margherita, che, nata in Ungheria e sposata con Malcolm III re di Scozia, diede al mondo otto figli e si adoperò molto per il bene del suo regno e della Chiesa, unendo alla preghiera e ai digiuni la generosità verso i poveri e offrendo, così, un fulgido esempio di ottima moglie, madre e regina.

Nel suo celebre quadro, rappresentante il Paradiso, il Beato Angelico pose fra molti frati, anche un Re e una Regina, volendo significare che la corona reale può unirsi felicemente all'aureola della santità.
La Santa di oggi fu infatti Regina di Scozia, e Regina abbastanza fortunata, fatto insolito questo, perché le altre coronate, si santificarono quasi sempre attraverso la disgrazia, l'umiliazione e l'infelicità.

Molte sono le Margherite di sangue reale iscritte nel Calendario cristiano: Margherita figlia del Re di Lorena, benedettina del XIII secolo; Margherita figlia del Re d'Ungheria, domenicana dello stesso secolo; Margherita figlia del Re di Baviera, vedova del XIV secolo; Margherita di Lorena, allevata come figlia del Re Renato d'Angiò; alle quali si potrebbero aggiungere Margherita dei Duchi di Savoia e Margherita dei Conti Colonna.

Quella di oggi nacque nel 1046, nipote di Edmondo 11, detto Fianchi di Ferro, e figlia di Edoardo, rifugiatosi in terra straniera per sfuggire a Canuto, usurpatore del trono d'Inghilterra.

Sua madre, Agata, sorella della Regina d'Ungheria, discendeva dal Re Santo Stefano. Morto l'usurpatore Canuto, Edoardo poteva tornare in Inghilterra, quando Margherita non aveva che 9 anni, ma dopo qualche tempo, la famiglia reale dovette fuggire ancora, in Scozia, dove il Re Malcom III chiese la mano di Margherita, che a ventiquattro anni s'assideva così sul trono di Scozia.

Ebbe sei figli maschi e due femmine, che educò amorosamente e che non le diedero mai nessun dolore. Suo marito non era né malvagio né violento, soltanto un po' rude e ignorante. Non sapeva leggere, ed aveva un grande rispetto per la moglie istruita. Baciava i libri di preghiera che le vedeva leggere con devozione; chiedeva costantemente il suo consiglio.

Ella non insuperbì per questo. Si mantenne discreta, rispettosa e modesta. E caritatevole verso i poveri, gli orfani, i malati, che assisteva e faceva assistere al Re. Per la Scozia non corsero mai anni migliori di quelli passati sotto il governo veramente cristiano di Malcom III e di Margherita, la quale, benvoluta dai sudditi, amata dal marito, venerata dai figli, dedicava tutta la sua vita al bene della sua anima e al benessere degli altri.

Non avendo dolori propri, cercò di lenire quelli degli altri; non avendo disgrazie familiari o dinastiche, cercò di soccorrere gli altri disgraziati, non conoscendo né, miseria né mortificazioni, cercò di consolare i miseri e gli umiliati. E accolse con animo lieto l'unica brutta notizia, che le giunse sul letto di morte. Il marito ed un figlio erano caduti combattendo in una spedizione contro Guglielmo detto il Rosso. A chi, con cautela, cercava di attenuare la crudeltà della notizia, Margherita fece capire di averla già avuta. E ringraziò Dio di quel dolore che le sarebbe servito a scuotere, nelle ultime ore, i peccati di tutta la vita.

Ciò non significava disamore e insensibilità verso il marito e il figlio morti. Ella sperava, anzi ne era certa, di riunirsi a loro, dopo quel doloroso passo, oltre la porta della morte, nella luce della Redenzione.

La Chiesa la venera come santa dal 1691.

Fonte:
Archivio Parrocchia 


The Life Of St Margaret, Queen Of Scotland. By Turgot, Bishop Of St Andrews Ed. William Forbes-Leith, S.J. Third Edition. Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1896 : http://mw.mcmaster.ca/scriptorium/margaret.html