Nov 16 is the feast day for St. Margaret, the patron saint of Scotland.
Margaret, an English princess, was born in Hungary in the 11th Century. After years of exile, she and her family returned to England, where her father died. Unfortunately, when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings, they had to flee, landing in Scotland. There, Malcolm Canmore III, the King of Scotland, invited them into his home. Falling in love, Margaret and Malcolm married.
Eventually nicknamed “The Pearl of Scotland”, Margaret is described as kind and beautiful with a good heart. Throughout her marriage to Malcolm, she encouraged a strict religious living. She fed the hungry, promoted arts and education, and even helped in efforts to stop abuses of religious power. In 1250, the Pope canonized Margaret of Scotland as a saint for all the good works she had done in her life.
In a twist, Margaret and her husband’s bodies were moved in 1259, but in 1560 Mary, Queen of Scots obtained Margaret’s skull and kept it as a relic. Mary insisted that the skull and prayers helped her in childbirth. Unfortunately, the skull ended up with the Jesuits in France where it was lost during the French Revolution.
While I agree with celebrating, remembering, and emulating the good works of others, I can’t help but wonder what happened to her skull?
Please note: I have reported this information as accurately as I could. Any mistakes are unintentional.
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