November - St Margaret of Scotland
It’s getting cold and some places already have snow. Christmas is on its way again so it’s time for a fairy tale saint. St Margaret of Scotland is our saint of the month, her feast day is the 16th November.
Once, many, many hundreds of years ago, there lived a prince, Prince Edward of England and a princess, Princess Agatha of Hungary, they fell in love and were married. They were very happy and their happiness was complete when they had a little daughter. The baby girl was named Margaret and was very beautiful and very good. Even as a little girl she loved God so much that she would spend hours in her little chapel, adoring Him in prayer. Goodness and love shone out of her and made her even more beautiful. She grew up in the kingdom of England, in the palace of her uncle, King Edward the Confessor. They were all very happy there.
One day when Margaret was praying to Jesus in her chapel she heard a very loud and strange noise and looking out of her window she saw hundreds of men in armour running towards the castle. She was frightened and was about to faint when her father came rushing into the chapel. “Pack your most prized possession” her father told her, “for we have to flee from the castle at once.” The English were being attacked by William soon to be called ‘The Conqueror’. Margaret looked at all her fine clothes, crowns, jewels and robes. Then her eyes rested upon her crucifix ‘yes, that’s what I will take’ she said to herself. She quickly wrapped the cross in her dress and ran down the stairs to join her family.
They ran from the castle never to return again. They escaped by sea, in a boat which took them along the Scottish coast. The waves got higher and higher, the wind got stronger and stronger and the little boat was tossed here and there, up and down. Margaret and her family were so frightened, and then Margaret remembered her crucifix and placing it on a table in the boat she prayed in front of it, asking the Lord to save them.
The boat was destroyed off the coast of Scotland, it had run into big sharp rock, but everyone got safely to the shore, with the help of a brave and handsome young king.
The king of Scotland and his men were very quick to come and save the young princess and her family. Then King Malcolm saw Margaret and he instantly fell in love with her. She was so beautiful and he could see that she was wise, good and kind. Margaret and Malcolm were married and lived in Scotland happily. She was not only a wife and mother but a Queen and she took her task as queen very seriously. She wanted to help her new people.
She fed the hungry, clothed the poor, cared for the orphan, visited the sick, and bandaged the wounded. Malcolm did not share the faith of his bride, he did not believe in or love her crucified Lord but he could see Margaret’s goodness and kindness. It was by her example of gentleness and love that he became a very virtuous and good king. They had six sons and two daughters, one of their sons, David, also became a saint. Margaret taught her children about the love of Jesus and how to pray and become good and kind. She told them all about Jesus the crucified one and showed them her crucifix and taught them how to love Him. She lived a very holy life always looking to Jesus on the cross for guidance and His goodness shone out of her.
She went to heaven in the year 1093, just four days after her husband King Malcolm. They are now with Jesus in the heavenly light.
St Margaret, teach us to be good and kind like you were. Help us to be a shining example to others and always ready to give what we have. Teach us to love our crucified Lord more, and have Him as our most precious prize.
“When Margaret spoke her conversation was seasoned with the salt of wisdom, when she was silent, her silence was filled with good thoughts.” (From her confessor’s writings)