Saints Day:- 16th November.
Saint:- In both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church.
Name Means:- Pearl.
Born:- Around 1045. In Hungary while her father was in exile.
Occupation:- Married King Malcolm lll of Scotland & became Queen Margaret.
Father:- Edward the Atheling (heir to throne) in medieval England.
Grandfather:- Edmund ll King of England deposed by King Canute.
Margaret’s Mother:- Agatha of Hungary.
Husband:- King Malcolm lll of Scotland.
Mother:- Of 4 Kings of Scotland, Edmund, Edgar, Alexander 1, David l.
Margaret was an English Princess and a Scottish Queen.
Her father fled England, as a baby, in 1016 when King Canute of Denmark defeated her grandfather, King Edmund ll “The Ironside” in battle. While in exile, in Hungary, her father married and had three children. Edgar, the oldest, abandoned all claims to the English throne. Margaret and a sister Christina who became a nun. The family returned to England in 1057 when Margaret was about twelve years old. Her father died shortly after landing in England.
Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, Margaret’s mother decided to return to Europe in 1068. Storms drove the ship northwards and it sought safety on Scotland’s shores.
King Malcolm lll was a widower with three small sons so Margaret became his wife in 1070. It was a good union. Margaret was very pious and Malcolm welcomed her strong, pure, noble character . She had great influence over her husband.
Margaret would read the bible to her husband and instigated religious reforms in the practices of the Church of Scotland, such as the return to observing “Lent“ and abolishing Saturdays as the “Sabbath“, honouring the Lord’s Day -Sunday as the day of rest.
She tended to orphans and the poor every day, before she herself ate, and she would wash their feet as our Lord did. She rose every night at midnight to observe “Liturgy” – the ritual of divine practices in all manner of things. She was the instigator of the Benedictine Order in establishing their monastery in Dunfermline, Fife.
A cave on the banks of Tower Burn was made into a place of devotion and prayer, by her. It was eventually called St. Margaret’s Cave. It is now under a car park but is still accessible to the public. She helped restore Iona’s Abbey and would work untiringly to help free the English exiles after the Norman Conquest.
Pilgrims on their way to St. Andrew’s shrine had their journey made so much easier when she created the ferry across The Firth of The Forth, hence the names of the towns which sprung up at each end of the ferry, South Queensferry and North Queensferry.
She died in Edinburgh Castle, of grief, on 16th November 1093. Just three days after her son, Edgar, had brought news of her husband and oldest son, Edward, being killed in the battle of Alnwick on 13th November. She was buried in Dunfermline Abbey.
She was canonized by Pope Innocent lV on 19th June 1250, for her personal holiness, fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church and for her ecclesiastical reforms and charity work. This originally was her Saints day.
In 1693 Pope Innocent Xll moved the feast day to 10th June away from James Vl’s birthday.
In the Revision of General Roman Calendar in 1969, it was found 16th November was free and so this became her day. (The day of her death).
The oldest church dedicated to her memory is the St. Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, which her youngest son, David l of Scotland, founded.