When my parents named me Margaret, they didn’t have a particular saint in mind to be my patron. Mom and Dad both liked the name, and my Dad especially liked it’s meaning: pearl. Thus, I was baptized as Margaret and although I use the pen name, Marge, my full name means a great deal to me because of its symbolism.
In my elementary school years at a Catholic grade school, it began to really bug me that I seemed to be the only kid who didn’t have a patron saint. I tried to hide the fact and asked God to find one for me so I’d feel like I fit in. He wasn’t in much of a hurry. Grade school, high school, and college came and went. No patron in sight. After I married Mark, and we began to have our own family, we were deliberate in naming our children after saints – saints with good, strong names and good, strong missions to go along with it. Again, I started to feel like a misfit; I was the only one in the family who didn’t have a patron saint.
Since it didn’t seem as though God was going to move on this one, I set about the arduous task of finding one for myself. I’d pilfer through saint books, reading about every Margaret in their pages. It seemed like no use. They were all wonderful, but none of them seemed like the right fit. I felt so empty inside and yearned for a relationship with a saint I could call my own. I wanted to give up, but instead I prayed to Ms. Whoever-My-Patron-Saint-Is to reveal herself to me. “If I can’t find you, you had better come find me. I need you!”
One day some weeks later, I was visiting the Schoenstatt Marian Shrine near my home and I started to meditate on saints and dates. It happened to be November 16, the birthday of Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt. They say that those in heaven give gifts on their birthdays rather than receiving them. So, I asked Fr. Kentenich to show me my patron saint as a birthday present. He was feeling pretty quiet that day, and I left the shrine patron saintless.
On the next day, I decided to try one last time to discover my patron saint. I picked up the book of saints and began to thumb through it. That’s when I saw her. While the Church calendar sites the feast of St. Gertrude on November 16, it also celebrates – you got it – the feast of St. Margaret of Scotland! Upon reading about this remarkable, holy woman, I immediately “fell in love” with her, and knew that she was THE saint for me. I found in St. Margaret someone to whom I could relate and trust. The more I’ve read about her, (EWTN has a fantastic article about her here), the more I’ve come to love and admire St. Margaret. We’ve been dear companions ever since. Fr. Kentenich did indeed give me an awesome birthday gift!
Below is a prayer to St. Margaret of Scotland that I’d like to share with you. I know I can count on her, and I know you can, too, even though she may not be your patron saint. On this feast of my patron saint, I thank her for her inspiration and faithfulness to me, and wish you all a blessed feast of St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland!
PRAYER TO ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND
O Heavenly Patron of Scotland, and my patron saint in whose name whom I glory, pray ever to God for me; strengthen me in my faith; establish me in virtue; guard me in the conflict; at my end be steadfast at my side and plead for me with Christ, my Judge and Savior, that I may vanquish the foe malign and attain to glory everlasting to behold one day thy beautiful countenance. Amen.