Monday, July 2, 2012


St. Margaret of England

Feastday: February 3
Patron of the dying
Died: 1192

Cistercian nun. She was born in Hungary, to an English mother who was related to St. Thomas of Canterbury, England. She went with her mother on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and lived a life of austerity and penance in Bethlehem. Her mother died there, and Margaret made pilgrimages to Montserrat, in Spain, and to Puy, France. There she entered the Cistercian convent at Suave-Benite. When she died, her tomb became a pilgrimage shrine.

Saint Margaret was possibly born in Hungary to an English mother and is probably related to Saint Thomas of Canterbury. She took her mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where they both led an austere life of penance for some years in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Her mother died there but Margaret continued on to Our Lady of Montserrat in the Spanish Catalonia, before joining the Cistercian nuns at Seauve-Bénite, in the diocese of Puy-en-Velay. She was greatly venerated in that district. Miracles followed her burial at Seauve-Bénite and her shrine became a principle feature of the church. Crowds came there to invoke 'Margaret the Englishwoman.' The local tradition that she was English was accepted by the Maurists and Gallia Christiana, yet an older French manuscript preserved by the Jesuits of Clermont College in Paris relates that she was indeed a Hungarian of noble birth

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