Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was the Queen of Scotland from 1070-1093. She was originally an Anglo-Saxon princess whose family fled to Scotland after the Norman invasion of England. She married King Malcolm III of Scotland in 1070 and is said to have had a civilizing impact on both her husband and her adopted country. Their marriage seems to have been one of much affection. Although Malcolm could not read, Margaret read to him from her Bible and religious books, and he had her books embellished with gold and silver. Margaret undertook a reform to bring Scottish religious practices in line with those of the Roman Catholic Church. She was personally extremely devout and charitable. She often arose for Mass at midnight and washed the feet of the poor on her way home. It is said that she always made a point of feeding several hungry people before she herself sat down to eat. Her faith was apparent in her actions, and her example helped her husband and the three of her sons who reigned as kings to be known as just rulers. Margaret was canonized in 1250. Her feast day is November 16.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Margaret of Scotland’s holiness lay not just in her personal piety, but in the way she did not flinch from loving the poor in concrete ways, often attending to their physical needs with her own hands. Although she was a queen, she served the poor. What examples can you find in our world today of people in positions of power who truly serve the poor?

  • How have you, like Margaret, walked the talk by letting your faith speak through your actions?