Margaret of Scotland

16 November -- Lesser Festival -- of any Saint -- White

Born in the year 1046, Margaret was the daughter of the Anglo-Saxon royal house of England but educated in Hungary, where her family lived in exile during the reign of Danish kings in England. After the Norman invasion in 1066, when her royal person still was a threat to the new monarchy, she was welcomed in the royal court of Malcolm III of Scotland and soon afterwards married him in 1069. Theirs was a happy and fruitful union and Margaret proved to be both a civilising and a holy presence. She instituted many church reforms and founded many monasteries, churches and pilgrim hostels. She was a woman of prayer as well as good works who seemed to influence for good all with whom she came into contact. She died on this day in the year 1093.


God, the ruler of all,
who called your servant Margaret to an earthly throne
and gave her zeal for your Church and love for your people
that she might advance your heavenly kingdom:
mercifully grant that we who commemorate her example
may be fruitful in good works
and attain to the glorious crown of your saints;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the Book of Proverbs.

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her happy; her husband too, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

This is the word of the Lord.         Proverbs 31. 10, 20, 26-31

Responsorial Psalm

RMy mouth, O God, shall speak of wisdom
[and my heart shall meditate on understanding].
Happy are they all who fear the Lord,
and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labour;
happiness and prosperity shall be yours. R

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house,
your children like olive shoots round about your table.
Whoever fears the Lord
shall thus indeed be blessed. R

The Lord bless you from Zion;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children;
may peace be upon Israel. R         Psalm 128

A reading from the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy.

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God -- whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did -- when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

This is the word of the Lord.         2 Timothy 1. 1-7

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."

This is the gospel of Christ.         Matthew 13. 44-46

Post Communion

from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name,
your servant Margaret revealed your goodness
   in a life of tranquillity and service:
grant that we who have gathered in faith around this table
may like her know the love of Christ
   that surpasses knowledge
and be filled with all your fullness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.