Margaret of Savoy, Bl.
MARGARET OF SAVOY, BL.
Widow, abbess and foundress; b. Pinerolo, Piedmont, 1390?; d. Alba, Italy, Nov. 23, 1464. Margaret, a member of the house of Savoy-Achaea, married Marquis Theodore II of Montferrat in 1403. At his death in 1418, she went to her estate in Alba where eventually she and her companions became Dominican tertiaries, taking simple vows and living in community. She founded the Monastery of St. Mary Magdalen 25 years later and made solemn vows as a nun of the Second Order of St. Dominic (see dominicans). She ruled as abbess until her death. In 1566 Pope Pius V authorized her cult; Clement IX confirmed it in 1669. Her body is incorrupt. In art she is represented as either holding three arrows or receiving them from Christ. There is usually a deer in the background. The symbol of the arrows derives from her mystical experience; that of the deer, from the tradition that she kept a domesticated deer in her monastery.
Feast: Nov. 23.
Bibliography: f. g. allaria, Vita della beata Margherita di Savoia, 2 v. (Alba, Italy 1877). s. solero, a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico, 3 v. (Turin 1954–58) 2:826. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York, 1956) 4:603–604. g. gieraths, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 7:22.
[m. e. casalandra]