Archive for Saint Margaret

Saint Margaret, Pearl of Scotland

Saint Margaret of ScotlandNovember 16 is the feast day of Saint Margaret of Scotland, who is a direct ancestor of mine. She is also the Patron Saint of Scotland.

Margaret of Wessex was born around 1045 in what is now Hungary. Her parents were Prince of Edward (the Exile) of England and Princess Agatha of Hungary. Her brother and sister were also born in Hungary.

When there was a chance her father might become successor to the throne, they returned to England. She was 10 years old at the time. Her father died and her family later fled in 1066 following the Battle of Hastings in 1066 that resulted in a victory by William the Conqueror.

On their way back to the European continent, their ship wrecked on the coast of Scotland. She later married King Malcolm of Scotland in 1070 in Dunfermline. They had eight children.

As a bio from Catholic Online notes:

She constantly worked to aid the poor Scotland. She encouraged people to live a devout life, grow in prayer, and grow in holiness. She helped to build churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline, where a relic of the true Cross is kept. She was well-known for her deep life of prayer and piety. She set aside specific times for prayer and to read Scripture. She didn’t eat often and slept very little so she would have more time for her devotions. She lived holiness of life as a wife, mother and lay woman; truly in love with Jesus Christ.

Malcolm supported Margaret in all her endeavors and admired her religious devotion so much he had her books decorated in jewels, gold and silver. One of these decorated books, a gospel book with portraits of the four evangelists, is now kept in Oxford at the Bodleian Library after it was miraculously recovered from a river.

In 1093, her husband and oldest son were killed in battle and she died four days later.

Pope Innocent IV canonized her as a Saint in 1250 and her body was moved to Dunfermline Abbey. Mary Queen of Scots reportedly acquired the relic of her head after that, but it was later lost during the French Revolution after being in possession of Jesuits in France.

More on Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland. She was the granddaughter of King Edmund Ironside and her infant father was exiled by Canute. Saint Margaret is my 24th great grandmother.