Have you ever met someone so holy and full of the love of Christ that you felt drawn to him or her? Such individuals have a captivating personality and an uncanny ability to communicate the Gospel message through their actions and temperament.
St. Margaret of Scotland, who lived in the 13th Century, embodied these characteristics and personality traits.
Born into English royalty, St. Margaret was the daughter of Edward the Exile and Agatha, sister-in-law of St. Stephen of Hungary. As a child, Margaret lived in Hungary with her exiled father, but traveled back to the British Isle as a young woman after her father’s death and the conclusion of the Norman Invasion. En route to England, Margaret’s ship was forced to dock in Scotland because of a raging storm. Malcolm III, the king of Scotland, offered her party safe lodgings, and eventually fell in love with and married Margaret.
The new Queen of Scotland reformed the Scottish court, creating a just and fair society for all citizens. Margaret used her power to reinstate many religious practices, including the Lenten fast, abstinence from work on Sundays, and Easter Communion among others. She was also responsible for founding several churches, particularly Dunfermline Abbey.
Margaret was able to transform Scotland from a nation of brutality to a civilized society in large part because of her captivating personality. Her husband, Malcolm, loved her so deeply that he willingly opened his heart to the faith and strove to become as holy as his wife.
Margaret died in 1093, and was buried in Dunfermline Abbey. Her personal copy of the Gospels, which is richly adorned with jewels, is preserved in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. She was canonized by Pope Innocent IV in 1250, and her feast day is celebrated on Nov. 16.