Monday, 17 April 2017

Blessed Margaret of Castello

A statue of Margaret of Castello at her shrine in Saint Patrick Church (Columbus, Ohio)
The 13th of April is the feast day of Blessed Margaret of Castello. She is the patron saint of the pro-life movement, against poverty, and of the disabled, handicapped, and unwanted.

Blessed Margaret Castello lived between 1287 and 1320. She was born to noble Italian parents and was born blind, dwarfed, lame and hunchbacked. Unfortunately, her parents wanted to keep her a secret due to her appearance and kept her hidden. A servant had her baptised and named her Margaret which meant Pearl. At the age of six years old she was nearly discovered so her father confined her in a cell inside the wall of the church with a window to give her the necessities she needed. The parish priest educated Margaret. At the age of sixteen, her parents took her on a pilgrimage to a shrine famed for its miraculous healings. They prayed for their daughter to be cured of her deformities. When nothing happened she was abandoned in the streets and her parents returned home and never saw her again. Margaret begged for food and was helped by the town's poor and took turns sheltering her in their homes. She became a Dominican Tertiary and served the sick, dying and imprisoned. She was known for her joy, sanctity and mystical experiences. She died when she was 33 and many miracles were credited to her intercession before and after her death. Her body was found to be incorrupt.

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