Home  »  Volume II: February  »  St. Margaret, Virgin, in England

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

February 3

St. Margaret, Virgin, in England

HER body is preserved entire, and resorted to with great devotion in the church of the Cistercian nuns of Seauve Benoite, 1 in the diocess of Puy, in Velay, eight leagues from that city towards Lyons. The brothers of Sainte-Marthe, in the old edition of Gallia Christiana, 2 and Dom Beaunier, the Maurist monk, 3 confirm the tradition of the place, that she was an English woman, and that her shrine is famous for miracles. Yet her life in old French, (a manuscript copy of which is preserved by the Jesuits of Clermont college, in Paris, with remarks of F. Peter Francis Chifflet,) tells us that she was by birth a noble Hungarian. Her mother, probably at least of English extraction, after the death of her husband, took her with her on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and both led a very penitential religious life, first in that city, and afterwards at Bethlehem. St. Margaret having buried her mother in that country, made a pilgrimage to Montserrat in Spain, and afterwards to our Lady’s at Puy in Velay. Then she retired to the Cistercian nunnery of Seauve Benoite, 4 where she happily ended her mortal course in the twelfth century. See Gallia Christ. Nova in Diœc. Aniciensi seu Podiensi, t. 2. p. 777.  1
Note 1. Sylva Benedicta. [back]
Note 2. Gallia Christ, vetus, t. 4. p. 823. [back]
Note 3. Recueil Hist. des Abbayes de France, t. 1. p. 314. [back]
Note 4. This St. Margaret perhaps never professed the Cistercian order. At least Henriquez, in the annals of that order, speaks only of one Margaret, an Englishwoman, whose brother Thomas was banished by Henry II. among the friends and relations of St. Thomas of Canterbury. By this brother’s advice she made her profession in the Cistercian nunnery at Laon, where she died in the odour of sanctity in 1192. See Henriquez ad eum annum. [back]