Feast of St. Margaret of Cortona (February 22)   Leave a comment

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Above:  St. Margaret of Cortona

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT MARGARET OF CORTONA (1247-FEBRUARY 22, 1297)

Penitent and Foundress of the Poor Ones

St. Margaret of Cortona, born at Laviano, Umbria, in 1247, was a daughter of a farmer.  Her mother died when our saint was seven years old.  Eventually St. Margaret’s father remarried; his second wife thought of our saint as a nuisance.  For nine years St. Margaret was the mistress of a nobleman of Montepulciano, whose child she bore.  Our saint, interpreting her lover’s murder by brigands in 1274 as not only an unfortunate event but a message from God that she should never have entered into that relationship, became a penitent.  When she attempted to return to her father’s home, he turned her and his grandchild away.  Fortunately, the Franciscans at Cortona, Tuscany, took them in.  Nevertheless, St. Margaret continue to have affairs.  She also felt self-loathing after each liaison.

Eventually, however, St. Margaret turned a spiritual corner.  She began to take care of sick women.  Then she cared for poor women without charge while she lived on alms.  In 1777 our saint became a Franciscan tertiary.  She had an intense prayer life and reported ecstasies.  In 1286 St. Margaret gathered a congregation of women (the Poor Ones) around her to care for the sick poor.  She also founded a hospital at Cortona, preached against vice, and had a devotion to the Eucharist and the Passion.  Despite her reformed life, marked by a plethora of good works, St. Margaret remained a target of much malicious gossip.

St. Margaret died at Cortona on February 22, 1297.  She was either 49 or 50 years old.  Pope Leo X beatified her in 1516.  Pope Benedict XIII canonized our saint in 1728.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICETIUS OF TRIER, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP; AND SAINT AREDIUS OF LIMOGES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made

us one with your saints in heaven and on earth:

Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always

be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer,

and know ourselves to be surrounded by

their witnesses to your power and mercy.

We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom

all our intercessions are acceptable through your Spirit,

and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 2:7-11

Psalm 1

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Matthew 25:1-13

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 726

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Posted December 6, 2016 by neatnik2009 in February, Saints of the 1200s

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