Monday, February 14, 2011

SANTA MARGARITA DE UNGRIA: Virgin and Nun

SANTA MARGARITA DE UNGRIA
1242-1270
Virgin & Nun



            Saint Margaret was born in 1242, the daughter of King Bela IV of Hungary and the Greek princess Maria Lascaris, who had vowed to dedicate her to God if granted victory over their enemies, the invading Tartars.  When 4 years old, she was placed in the Monastery of Veszprin for her education.  She received the Dominican habit, and in fulfillment of a vow, her father founded a monastery for her on an island in the Danube near Budapest.

            At the age of 12, she made her profession in the hands of Humbert of Romans, Fifth Master of the Order.  Shortly afterwards, her parents obtained a papal dispensation for her to marry the King of Bohemia, but Margaret refused to compromise her vocation saying, “I esteem infinitely more the King of Heaven… than the crown offered me by the king of Bohemia”.  To prevent further annoyance, she received the Consecration of Virgins with three other sisters at the foot of the altar dedicated to her aunt, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.  This is the only instance of the Consecration of Virgins in the annals if the Nuns of the Order of Preachers.
         
          Margaret distinguished herself in the monastery for her humility and poverty.  Despite her royal rank, she always chose the last place and loved to tend the sick, serving the most loathsome on her knees.

            Saint Margaret died in 1270 at the age of 28.  She was raised to the honors of the altar when Pope Pius XII canonized her in 1943.

                   O God, lover and guardian of virginity, a virtue to which your servant Margaret added to splendor of good works, grant, we beseech you, that by the spirit of a salutary penance we may restore the integrity of our souls.  This we ask you through Christ our Lord.  Amen.


FEASTDAY:  JANUARY 18
                        MEMORIAL

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