+ Margaret was the daughter of the king and queen of Hungary and a granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor. In fulfilment a vow—in which her parent’s had pledged their next child to God if Hungary could be spared an invasion by the Tartars—she was placed in the monastery of the Dominican nuns in Veszprem at the age of 3.
+ When she was 10 years-old, Margaret transferred to another monastery near Buda, where she lived the rest of her life.
+ Although her father later tried arrange a marriage for Margaret to the king of Bohemia, she refused the offer and chose to stay in religious life. She finally professed vows as a religious when she was 18.
+ Margaret was an exemplary nun who was known for her penitential spirit and innate kindness.
+ Saint Margaret of Hungary died on January 18, 1271. Honored as a powerful intercessor and miracle worker, she was canonized in 1943.
For prayer and reflection
“In the presence of Christ, veiled in the Eucharist or imaged on the cross, she freely poured out her heart; she prayed everywhere and unceasingly, frequently adding to the prescribed office the entire psalter, as well as prayers to God the Father or to the Holy Spirit the Paraclete, or salutations to the Virgin Mother of God whom she loved dearly.”—Pope Pius XII, Letter of Canonization for Saint Margaret of Hungary
On this day, the Church honors the memory of four lay women who died as martyrs during the French Revolution. Blesseds Charlotte Lucas, Félicité Pricet, Monique Pichery, and Victoire Gusteau were executed in Avrillé, France, on January 18, 1794, and were beatified with 95 other martyrs from the Diocese of Angers in 1984.
O God, who called your handmaid blessed Margaret of Hungary to seek you before all else, grant that, serving you, through her example and intercession, with a pure and humble heart, we may come at last to your eternal glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For a Nun)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.