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Saint of the Day - Saint Margaret of Cortona (February 22)

St. Margaret of Cortona was born around the year 1247. She died on February 22, 1297. She was canonized on May 16, 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII at Vatican City.

Image retrieved from and used as being in the public domain.

Saint Margaret was born around 1247 in Laviano in Tuscany located within the Diocese of Chiusi. Her parents were farmers. When Margaret was about 7, her mother died. Many saints lost one or both parents at a young age. Sadly, Margaret was raised by a stepmother who would give Cinderella's evil stepmother a run for her money.

At the age of 17, Margaret met a young man. According too some accounts, this young man was the son of Gugliemo di Pecora, Lord of Valiano. She eloped with this young man and soon found herself bearing a child out of wedlock.

Her lover went on a trip, and when he failed to return on time, Margaret became worried. This worry grew when his favorite hound returned unaccompanied. The hound led her to her lover. The horrible murder scene she found was so shocking that she was shocked into a life of penance and prayer.

After returning to his family all of the gifts he had given her and leaving his house, Saint Margaret went to the home of her father. Her father, because of her stepmother, rejected her. After being rejected by her own father, Margaret and her son went to the Franciscan Friars at Cortona. She was taken in there and entered into her life of prayer and penance. She avoided all meat and subsisted on bread and vegetables alone, save for the Sacred Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is flesh and blood. In many of the Eucharistic miracles, there is flesh and the flesh is always heart tissue and the blood type is always AB-.

After 3 years of probation, in 1277, Margaret was allowed to join the third order of the Franciscans. In true following of St. Francis of Assisi, she chose to live in poverty and beg for bread and alms.

While living a life of prayer and penance at Cortona, Saint Margaret was able to open a hospital for the poor, the homeless and for the sick.

While in prayer on more than one occasion, Saint Margaret heard Jesus ask her "What is your wish, poverella?" ("little poor one?"), and she replied, "I neither seek nor wish for anything but You, my Lord Jesus." She was believed to be in direct contact with Jesus due to her frequent ecstasies.

During her life, she also established an order dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. The purpose of the order was the care of the sick, the needy, the homeless and the poor. The order is called the Poverelles (the "Poor Ones").

In her later years, Saint Margaret moved to the ruins of the church of Saint Basil of Caesarea. The church was eventually rebuilt and renamed Sancta Margherita. It is located in Cortona. When her remains were exposed, she was found to be incorrupt even 400 years after her death. Her remains now repose in a silver casket inside the church.

The image below is called "The Story of Margaret of Cortona". It was painted by an unknown Italian master.

Image retrieved from and used as being in the public domain.


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