Friday, 18 November 2011

Saint Margaret of Scotland

As Preached on Wednesday 16th November 2011 to the 11am communion at St Nicolas Earley.

Today is the patron saint day of Saint Margaret of Scotland.

Queen Margaret of Scotland was born in Hungary whilst her family were in exile. They returned to England in 1057 before fleeing to Scotland after the Norman conquest of 1066 where she married Malcolm III, King of Scots in 1070, becoming queen. Margaret is said to have “civilised” her husband by reading him the Bible.

Margaret undertook many charitable works; serving orphans and the poor every day before she ate, and washing the feet of the poor in imitation of Christ. She also started a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims travelling to Dunfermline Abbey. This gave the towns of Queensferry and North Queensferry their names

She instigated religious reform, striving to make the worship and practices of the Church in Scotland conform to Rome and requiring humility in the priesthood.

Margaret was the mother of three Kings of Scotland and a Queen consort of England.

Her story ends in 1093 in Edinburgh Castle with a broken heart, she died just days after receiving the news of her husband's death in battle.

Margaret was canonised by Pope Innocent IV in 1250 recognition of her personal holiness, fidelity to the Church, work for religious reform, and charity

What can we learn from Saint Margaret’s life?

She was a servant to the poor,
a healer to the sick,
a teacher of the leaders
and a peacemaker amongst war-mongers.

Sound familiar?
Remind you of anyone we might know?

She was a Royal, a woman of power; yet she never abused her position, instead she turned it on it’s head to bring change and goodness to society.

She did this through relationship with her husband and family, bringing them to the Bible and to lives of faith.

She did this by reforming the Catholic Church in Scotland and focussing on prayer and servitude.

She did this in her work with the poor, putting their needs constantly before her own.

She reminds me a whole lot of Jesus, in her faith, calling, humility, strength and teaching. She is an example of the life I wish to live and the faith I wish to share.
One thousand years on, she is a very modern woman with much to teach us about serving, giving, loving and praying.


1 comment:

Nancy Wallace said...

Thanks for posting this. She must have been a remarkable woman of deep Christian faith and a great philanthropist. On a point of accuracy, her family didn't flee to Scotland. They found refuge there when shipwrecked on the Fife coast while trying to sail from Northumbria back to mainland Europe. There's one aspect of her reforming work in the church in Scotland that I find sad. Church services in the Celtic church were in the vernacular Gaelic until Margaret got this changed to Latin as part of bringing the church under Rome's umbrella.