November 16th is the Feast Day of Saint Margaret Queen of Scotland and a special day on my calendar. On this day, we remember Saint Margaret because of her piety and works of charity and love.
Since childhood, I’ve been obsessed with reading biographies, particularly those of the saints. I enjoy discovering what ordinary people did with the unique circumstances of their lives and seek to learn from these heroes, the ones who chose good over evil, generosity over selfishness, and compassion over arrogance.
My favorite saint, without a doubt, is the Virgin Mary. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, also known as Saint Theodora, tops my list as well. However, I claimed the name of Margaret on my Confirmation day in honor of Saint Margaret of Scotland. She is one I strive to imitate and a guide on my path to greater devotion to the Lord.
Saint Margaret Queen of Scotland, also known as Margaret of Wessex (1045 – 1093), was an English princess and a Scottish Queen. The daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling, Margaret was born in exile in the Kingdom of Hungry. Her family returned to England in 1057 but were forced to flee again in 1066 when the Normans invaded. Shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland, King Malcom III invited Margaret and her family to seek refuge in his country. He immediately was captivated by the beauty and grace of Margaret. Margaret and Malcom were married in 1070.
Malcom was good-hearted but also uncultured. With love and kindness, Margaret encouraged more refinement in her husband and opened his eyes to the needs of his people. Margaret’s piety also rubbed off on Malcolm. They prayed together and observed two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas, each year.
Although gentle, Margaret also was assertive and proactive. She acted as her husband’s consult in state matters, promoted the arts, education, and religious reform in her new country and advocated for the poor. She personally distributed alms and bread to the Scottish people and invited beggars into the castle to dine with her family.
Margaret and Malcolm had six sons and two daughters. In 1093, Scotland was attacked taking the lives of King Malcolm and his oldest son, Edward. Margaret, already on her deathbed, died four days later.
Check out Nature Escape on Midwest Mary.
Image of Saint Margaret is from a Holy Card found online.