Poor Margaret! When she was only 7 years old her mother died. To make matters worse, her father remarried and her new stepmom wasn’t very nice. Sound like a fairytale you know? Did you guess Cinderella? Well, unlike Cinderella, she didn’t have talking mice to help her out.
After a few years of living with her father and stepmother, Margaret met a man named Arsenio, and ran off with him. (This man was no Prince Charming! Margaret led a sinful life with him and the two had a son together.)
Ever catch yourself doing something wrong and you know it is wrong, but you do it anyway? You know you should change your behavior, but you choose not to? Well, this is how it was for Margaret. She knew she wasn’t leading a Godly life, but she wasn’t ready to change yet.
One day, while Margaret waited for Arsenio to come home, only his dog returned. This was one smart dog! Margaret scratched the dog between the ears but instead of sitting and wagging his tail, he grabbed Margaret’s apron and began tugging on it. Sensing something might be wrong, she followed the dog. Unfortunately, the dog led her to where her husband laid dead — murdered!
Margaret took this as a sign from God that it was time to start living a pure life. So, she packed up her stuff and took her son and went back home. But, because of the life she had led, her father didn’t want her back home again.
Feeling discouraged, she went to another town where she had heard some friars often helped people willing to reform their lives. When she arrived at that town she met two Godly women. They let Margaret and her son live with them in their home. Margaret reformed her life and spent a good portion of her day praying and doing penance. Her son attended school and later became a Franciscan monk. Eventually, Margaret became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted her life to helping the poor and sick. She even started a hospital.
Feast day: Feb. 22
St. Margaret of Cortona, pray for us!
Activity: Create a stuffed animal hospital
- Take some rags and cut them into stuffed animal sized bandages (Check with your parents before cutting up any rags.)
- Collect a bunch of stuffed animals
Lay the stuffed animals out on a couch or bed. These stuffed animals got a little rowdy during playtime and have many cuts, bruises and scratches. They need you to lovingly bandage up their wounds and give them words of encouragement. Be like St. Margaret and take care of them.