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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

January 28

B. Margaret, Princess of Hungary, Virgin

SHE was daughter to Bala IV. the pious king of Hungary. Her parents consecrated her to God by a vow before her birth, and when but three years and a half old she was placed in the monastery of Dominican nuns at Vesprin, and at ten removed to a new nunnery of that order, founded by her father in an isle of the Danube near Buda, called from her the isle of St. Margaret. She was professed at twelve. 1 In her tender age she outstripped the most advanced in devotion, and was favoured with extraordinary communications from heaven. It was her delight to serve every body, and to practise every kind of humiliation: she never spoke of herself, as if she was beneath all notice: never loved to see her royal parents, or to speak of them, saying it was her misfortune that she was not of poor parentage. Her mortifications were excessive. She endeavoured to conceal her sickness for fear of being dispensed with or shown any indulgence in the rule. From her infancy she conceived the most ardent devotion towards her crucified Redeemer, and kissed very often, both by day and night, a little cross made of the wood of our Saviour’s cross, which she always carried about her. She commonly chose to pray before the altar of the cross. Her affection for the name of Jesus made her have it very frequently in her mouth, which she repeated with incredible inward feeling and sweetness. Her devotion to Christ in the blessed sacrament was most remarkable: she often wept abundantly, or appeared in ecstasies during the mass, and much more when she herself received the divine spouse of her soul: on the eve she took nothing but bread and water, and watched the night in prayer. On the day itself she remained in prayer and fasting till evening, and then took a small refection. She showed a sensible joy in her countenance when she heard any festival of our Lady announced, through devotion to the mother of God; she performed on them, and during the octaves, one thousand salutations each day, prostrating herself on the ground at each, besides saying the office of our blessed Lady every day. If any one seemed offended at her, she fell at their feet, and begged their pardon. She was always the first in obedience, and was afraid to be excepted if others were enjoined penance for a breach of silence or any other fault. Her bed was a coarse skin, laid on the bare floor, with a stone for her pillow. She was favoured with the gift of miracles and prophecy. She gave up her pure soul to God, after a short illness, on the 18th of January, in the year 1271, and of her age the twenty-eighth. Her body is preserved at Presbourg. See her life by Guerinus, a Dominician, by order of his general, in 1340: and an abridgment of the same by Ranzano. She was never canonized, but is honoured with an office in all the churches in Hungary, especially those of the Dominicans in that kingdom, by virtue of a decree of Pope Pius II. as Touron assures us. 2  1
Note 1. Touron, Vies des Hommes Illustres de l’Ordre de St. Dominique, in Humbert des Romains, fifth general of the Dominicans, t. 1. p. 325. [back]
Note 2. Touron. ib. in Innocent V. t. 1. p. 384. [back]