St. Margaret of Scotland

Coat of Arms

St. Margaret of Scotland

 

Our church is named for St. Margaret of Scotland. While the Episcopal Church does not teach that we should worship or pray to saints, we do look to them as examples of others, imperfect humans like ourselves, who have lived godly lives.

 

Margaret was born about the year 1045. Her father, the English Prince Edward, was in exile and Margaret was brought up in the Hungarian court.

 

She came to England at the age of about twelve but with the Norman Conquest in 1066, Margaret's family sought refuge in Scotland. The Scottish King, Malcolm Canmore, received the exiles kindly.

Malcolm was a powerful and able king who fell in love with the gentle Margaret and eventually persuaded her to marry him rather than  enter a convent. Their life together is an enchanting story of the impact of a young woman of wisdom and holiness upon a husband whose background was altogether rougher and less educated, but who aspired towards the holiness manifest in his wife.

 

Margaret spent much of her time and money on works of charity,  attending to the poor, the aged, the orphans and the sick. She supervised the making of vestments and fine things for the church. She was an admirable mother.

 

Margaret is also remembered for solving the problem facing the church in the Scotland of her day. Cut off by pagan invasion, the Celtic church had come to differ on points of procedure with Rome, and it was Margaret's personal achievement to reconcile the conflicting elements by bringing the Celtic church in Scotland back to conformity. This she did in such a way as to avoid schism or bitterness.

 

The comparatively peaceful infusion of medieval culture into Scotland under Margaret brought a veritable golden age to Scotland that lasted for two hundred years after her death. She died in Edinburgh Castle at a time when all that she had worked for seemed lost; her husband was killed in battle and rebel forces were attacking Edinburgh. But three of her sons succeed to the throne and their mother's work was reinforced and brought to fullness.

 

Margaret is remembered therefore, not just as an able queen, but also as a notable example of Christian motherhood.

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