St Margaret’s Feast Day

Born about 1045, died 16 Nov., 1092, was a daughter of Edward “Outremere”, or “the Exile”,and by Agatha .

Margaret came with her father to England after the conquest of it by the Normans.  Her mother, Agatha decided to return to the continent but a storm drove their ship to Scotland where King Malcolm 3rd received the party.

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 célidé, Scottish Christian hermits, and also the Benedictine Order.

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.

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.
images of st margaret of scotland

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