Saint Margaret of Cortona
|Tender of Sick|
|Died||22 February 1297 (aged 49–50)|
|Venerated in||Third Order of St. Francis, Roman Catholic Church|
|Canonized||16 May 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII|
|Feast||22 February, 16 May|
|Patronage||against temptations; falsely accused people; homeless people; insanity; loss of parents; mental illness; mentally ill people; midwives; penitent women; single mothers; people ridiculed for their piety; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; single laywomen; third children|
Saint Margaret of Cortona, T.O.S.F. , (1247 – 22 February 1297) was an Italian penitent of the Third Order of St. Francis ("T.O.S.F."). She was born in Laviano, near Perugia, and died in Cortona. She was canonized in 1728.
A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Third Order of Saint Francis, historically known as the Order of Penance of Saint Francis, is a third order within the Franciscan movement of the Catholic Church. It includes both congregations of vowed men and women, and fraternities of men and women living standard lives in the world, married most of the time.
Castiglione del Lago is a town in the province of Perugia of Umbria, on the southwest corner of Lake Trasimeno. Orvieto is 59 km (37 mi) south, Chiusi is 21 km (13 mi) to the south west, Arezzo is 56 km (35 mi) to the north west, Cortona is 21 km (13 mi) to the north and Perugia is 47 km (29 mi) to the south east.
She is the patron saint of the falsely accused, hoboes, homeless, insane, orphaned, mentally ill, midwives, penitents, single mothers, reformed prostitutes, stepchildren, and tramps.
A hobo is a migrant worker or homeless vagrant, especially one who is impoverished. The term originated in the Western—probably Northwestern—United States around 1890. Unlike a "tramp", who works only when forced to, and a "bum", who does not work at all, a "hobo" is a traveling worker.
Margaret was born of farming parents, in Laviano, a little town in the diocese of Chiusi.At the age of seven, Margaret's mother died and her father remarried. Stepmother and stepdaughter did not like each other. As she grew older, Margaret became more willful and reckless, and her reputation in the town suffered. At the age of 17 she met a young man, according to some accounts, the son of Gugliemo di Pecora, lord of Valiano, and she ran away with him. Soon Margaret found herself installed in the castle, not as her master's wife, for convention would never allow that, but as his mistress, which was more easily condoned. For ten years, she lived with him near Montepulciano and bore him a son.
A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.
A wife is a female partner in a continuing marital relationship.
A mistress is a relatively long-term female lover and companion who is not married to her partner, especially when her partner is married to someone else.
When her lover failed to return home from a journey one day, Margaret became concerned. The unaccompanied return of his favorite hound alarmed Margaret, and the hound led her into the forest to his murdered body. That crime shocked Margaret into a life of prayer and penance.Margaret returned to his family all the gifts he had given her and left his home. With her child, she returned to her father's house, but her stepmother would not have her. Margaret and her son then went to the Franciscan friars at Cortona, where her son eventually became a friar. She fasted, avoided meat, and subsisted on bread and vegetables.
Cortona is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. It is the main cultural and artistic center of the Val di Chiana after Arezzo.
A friar is a brother member of one of the mendicant orders founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century; the term distinguishes the mendicants' itinerant apostolic character, exercised broadly under the jurisdiction of a superior general, from the older monastic orders' allegiance to a single monastery formalized by their vow of stability. The most significant orders of friars are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians and Carmelites.
In 1277, after three years of probation, Saint Margaret joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and chose to live in poverty. Following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, she begged for sustenance and bread. She pursued a life of prayer and penance at Cortona, and there established a hospital for the sick, homeless and impoverished. To secure nurses for the hospital, she instituted a congregation of Tertiary Sisters, known as "le poverelle" (Italian for "the little poor ones").
The Order of Saint Francis (OSF) is an active, Apostolic Christian religious order within the in the Franciscan tradition. The OSF admits members of the Anglican Communion. Rather than living in an enclosed communal setting, OSF Brothers live independently in different parts of the world, with ministries based on the needs of their local communities. Members are baptized men who have been confirmed within the Anglican Communion, and who voluntarily commit to living by a set of professed vows for a term of years or for life. The Order of Saint Francis is a dispersed order, which welcomes men with dual vocations. Brothers may also be married or single and can be found in the United States, England, Scotland, Canada, Africa and Australia and currently number 41 Brothers - 13 Life Professed, 15 First Professed, 9 Novices, and 4 Postulants.
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water, usually by baking. Throughout recorded history it has been a prominent food in large parts of the world and is one of the oldest man-made foods, having been of significant importance since the dawn of agriculture.
While in prayer, Margaret heard the words, "What is your wish, poverella?" ("little poor one?"), and she replied, "I neither seek nor wish for anything but You, my Lord Jesus." She also established an order devoted to Our Lady of Mercy and the members bound themselves to support the hospital and to help the needy.
On several occasions, St. Margaret participated in public affairs. Twice, following divine command, she challenged the Bishop of Arezzo, Guglielmo Ubertini Pazzi, in whose diocese Cortona lay, because he lived and warred like a prince. She moved to the ruined Church of St Basil, now Santa Margherita, and spent her remaining years there; she died on 22 February 1297.
After her death, the Church of Santa Margherita in Cortona was rebuilt in her honor. Her body is preserved in a silver casket inside the church.Saint Margaret was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII on 16 May 1728.
An oil on canvas painting of "Saint Margaret of Cortona" (circa 1758) by Garpare Traversi, hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
In 1938, the Italian composer Licinio Refice wrote his second opera, Margherita da Cortona based on the life of the saint, with libretto by Emidio Mucci.
A 1950 biographical film Margaret of Cortona by Mario Bonnard featured Maria Frau as Margaret.
The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others.
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