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Margaret of Lorraine, Bl.

MARGARET OF LORRAINE, BL.

Widowed duchess of Alençon; b. Vaudemont in Lorraine, France, 1463; d. Argentan, Brittany, France, Nov. 2, 1521. Her parents, Ferri of Lorraine and Yolande of Anjou, having died when she was a child, Margaret was reared at the court of her grandfather, René of Anjou. In 1488 she married René, duke of Alençon, to whom she bore a son and two daughters. Widowed in 1492, she ruled the duchy with considerable skill during her son's minority. It was at this period that she came under the influence of St. francis of paola and began living a life of asceticism. When her responsibility to her children was discharged, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, withdrew from court life, and devoted herself to the care of the poor in the neighborhood of Mortagne. Sometime after 1513 she founded at Argentan a convent whose inmates observed the Rule of St. Clare. In 1519 she entered this convent but refused to accept the office of abbess. She was buried in the convent at Argentan where her incorrupt body was venerated until profaned by the Jacobins in 1793. Her cult was confirmed by benedict xv in 1921.

Feast: Nov. 6.

Bibliography: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 13 (1921) 231233. r. guÉrin, La Bienheureuse Marguerite de Lorraine, duchesse d'Alençon et religieuse clarisse (Paris 1921); Vie de l'aïeule d'Henri IV, 14631521. Bienheureuse Marguerite de Lorraine (Paris 1953).

[c. j. lynch]

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