Monday, July 24, 2006

Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was an English princess who was born in Hungary and was the great-niece of Saint Stephen of Hungary. She and her mother sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered their land.

They got ship wrecked on the Scottish coast and King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them. He fell in love with the beautiful princess and Margaret and Malcolm were soon married. They had eight children, six sons and two daughters and they loved their children very much.

Margaret changed her husband and the country for the better. Malcolm was good, but he and his court were very rough. When he saw how wise his wife was, he willingly listened to her good advice.

Margaret helped him control his temper and practice the Christian virtues. She made the court beautiful and civilized. The king and queen were wonderful examples because of the way they prayed together and treated each other. They fed crowds of poor people. They tried very hard to imitate Jesus in their own lives.

Margaret was a blessing for all the people of Scotland. Many people had bad habits that kept them from growing closer to God. Margaret worked hard to find good teachers to help the people correct their evil ways.

She and Malcolm had new churches built. She loved to make the churches beautiful to honor God. In fact, Queen Margaret embroidered some of the priests' robes herself.

Their youngest son became Saint David and one of their daughters Saint Maud. But Margaret had sorrows, too. She was very ill, and she learned that both her husband and her son, Edward, had been killed in battle. They died just four days before Margaret's death. She died on November 16, 1093.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Saint Rose of Viterbo

Rose was born in Viterbo, in Italy. During that time Emperor Frederick had conquered land that belonged to the Church. Rose's special mission as a teenager was to make the people of her own city and nearby cities remain faithful to the Holy Father the Pope. And this she did very well.

When she was eight years old, Rose was very sick and our Blessed Mother appeared to her and told her that she should wear the habit (uniform) of Saint Francis. Our Lady also told Rose to set a good example by her words and actions. Slowly Rose became strong and healthy again.

She began to think more and more about how much Jesus suffered for us and how much we had hurt him because of our sins. She prayed and made sacrifices to show Jesus how much she loved him.

Later on, this brave girl began to preach in the streets of the city. She told people not to agree with the emperor who had taken land from the Church. So many people listened to her advice that Rose's father became frightened. He told her he would beat her if she did not stop preaching. She was only thirteen years old, but she answered gently, "If Jesus was willing to be beaten for me, I can be beaten for him. I must do what Jesus has told me to do, and I will not disobey him."

For two more years Rose preached with such success that the enemies of the pope wanted to kill her. In the end, the emperor sent Rose and her parents out of the city. But Rose said that the emperor was going to die soon and that is exactly what happened.

When they returned to Viterbo, Rose was not allowed to become a nun, so she returned to her own home. There she died in 1252, when she was only seventeen. Her body is preserved and venerated in Viterbo.