ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND.
FEAST DAY: NOVEMBER 16TH
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).