Patroness of Parties
If there was a patron saint of partying, St. Margaret of Scotland should be it. As Queen of Scotland, she used her court and influence to evangelize her people and bring them to Christ. She truly lived out her baptismal calling in her everyday life and is a fantastic example of how people do not need to take vows or have special training to live a holy life. She shared her strong personal relationship with Christ with the people she met, and she used her station in life to bring people to Christ in a meaningful way.
Margaret was an English princess who was born in Hungary around 1045. She traveled to England as a child but fled when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Though her family set out for Northumbria, the Holy Spirit had a different plan for her. A storm blew her ship north to Scotland where she was shipwrecked with her family. It was there that she and King Malcolm fell in love and were married in 1070.
Margaret was a devout Catholic and raised her eight children in the faith. She slept and ate little so that she could spend more time in devotions and with Christ. She used the parties and activities in the palace to evangelize everyone that came to court. The court of Malcolm and Margaret became widely known as a place of welcome and her hospitality left many visitors strong believers in Christ. She showed the people of Scotland and beyond that a life with Christ is a life filled with joy!
In addition to her evangelization efforts, she was a leader in Church reform and worked to correct the abuses of bishops at that time. She believed that education was another wonderful way to bring people to Christ and started many schools through the Church. Malcolm supported his wife’s faith by creating illuminated and bejeweled copies of religious devotionals. Miraculously, one of her copies of the gospels that he had decorated still exists today.
Margaret’s early life was filled with tragedy and uncertainty, but it all led her to the life she was born to live. Margaret inspires us to use the gifts that we have in conjunction with the life that we lead to help bring people to Christ. She was a holy woman without any special vows or training, but she allowed the Holy Spirt to work through her and her court. We are all called through our baptismal vows to live out our faith each and every day. And we are also called to share the joy we have in Christ with everyone we meet. As the patroness of Scotland, Margaret is still inspiring people to deeper and more profound faith today. St. Margaret of Scotland, pray for us!