Today is the feast day of one of my favourite saints, St. Margaret of Scotland
Margaret was an English princess, born in 1093. She was the daughter of Princess Agatha of Hungary and the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling. \She and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with the beautiful princess. Margaret and Malcolm were married before too long.
As Queen, Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. Malcolm was good, but he and his court were very rough. When he saw how wise his beloved wife was, he listened to her good advice. She softened his temper and led him to practice great virtue. She made the court beautiful and civilized. Soon all the princes had better manners, and the ladies copied her purity and devotion. The king and queen gave wonderful example to everyone by the way they prayed together and fed crowds of poor people with their own hands. They seemed to have only one desire: to make everyone happy and good.
Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Before she arrived, there was great ignorance and many bad habits among them. Margaret worked hard to obtain good teachers, to correct the evil practices, and to have new churches built. She loved to make these churches beautiful for God's glory, and she embroidered the priest's vestments herself.
God sent this holy Queen six sons and two daughters. She loved them dearly and raised them well. The youngest boy became St. David. But Margaret had sorrows, too. In her last illness, she learned that both her husband and her son, Edward, had been killed in battle. Yet she prayed: "I thank You, Almighty God, for sending me so great a sorrow to purify me from my sins."