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Margaret of Scotland, St.


Queen; b. Reska, Hungary, 1046; d. Edinburgh, Scotland, Nov. 16, 1093. Margaret, the daughter of the Anglo-Saxon Prince Edward Atheling and Princess Agatha of Hungary, spent much of her youth at the court of her great-uncle edward the confessor. While attempting to return to Hungary in 1067 after the Battle of Hastings, she was shipwrecked off the Scottish coast, and in 1070 she married the Scottish King Malcolm III. She was the mother of St. david i of scotland. With the cooperation of Malcolm and the advice of lanfranc, she initiated a series of ecclesiastical reforms that transformed the religious and cultural life of Celtic Scotland. A great benefactress, she founded Holy Trinity Abbey at dunfermline, restored iona and other Celtic churches, and especially devoted herself to the care of the sick and the destitute. She was canonized by innocent iv in 1249, and named patroness of Scotland in 1673. Her cult was widespread throughout medieval Scotland, where she is still venerated. Her body was translated from Dunfermline to a chapel in the Escorial in Madrid during the Reformation, but her head is with the Jesuits of Douai.

Feast: Nov. 16; June 19 (translation).

Bibliography: The Gospel Book of Queen Margaret, ed. w. forbes-leith (Edinburgh 1896). Acta Sanctorum June 2:316335. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 2:532529. a. c. lawrie, ed., Early Scottish Charters (Glasgow 1905). j. r. barnett, Margaret of Scotland (London 1926). r. l. g. ritchie, The Normans in Scotland (Edinburgh 1954). g. w. s. barrow, Innes Review 11 (1960) 2238. k. nagy, St. Margaret of Scotland and Hungary (Glasgow 1973). w. m. metcalfe, tr. Lives of the Scottish Saints (Felinfach 1990). n. g. tranter, Margaret the Queen (London 1979, repr. London 1993). a. j. wilson, St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland (Edinburgh 1993).

[l. macfarlane]

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