The Sainted Queens
A collection of short biographies of six Catholic Queens who became saints. Saint Margaret of Scotland – Saint Elisabeth of Portugal – Saint Clotildus, Saint Ragedund, and Saint Bathildis, all Queens of the Franks – and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
Saint Margaret of Scotland (Scots: Saunt Magret, c. 1045 – 16 November 1093), was an English princess and a Scottish queen. Margaret was sometimes called “The Pearl of Scotland”. Born in exile in the Kingdom of Hungary, she was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the uncrowned Anglo-Saxon claimant on the throne of England after the death of Harold II. Margaret and her family returned to the Kingdom of England in 1057, but fled to the Kingdom of Scotland following the Norman conquest of England in 1066. By the end of 1070, Margaret had married King Malcolm III of Scotland, becoming Queen of Scots.
She was a very pious Christian, and among many charitable works she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth in Scotland for pilgrims travelling to St Andrews in Fife, which gave the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names. Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland, or four, if Edmund of Scotland (who ruled with his uncle, Donald III) is counted, and of a queen consort of England. According to the Vita S. Margaritae (Scotorum) Reginae (Life of St. Margaret, Queen (of the Scots)), attributed to Turgot of Durham, she died at Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1093, merely days after receiving the news of her husband’s death in battle.
In 1250, Pope Innocent IV canonized her, and her remains were reinterred in a shrine in Dunfermline Abbey in Fife, Scotland. Her relics were dispersed after the Scottish Reformation and subsequently lost. Mary, Queen of Scots, at one time owned her head, which was subsequently preserved by Jesuits in the Scots College, Douai, France, from where it was subsequently lost during the French Revolution.
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