The Rule, Article 4

Monday, February 22, 2010

St. Margaret of Cortona, SFO

St. Margaret of Cortona
Feastday: February 22

Margaret of Cortona, born in Italy in 1247 was only seven when her mother died. When her stepmother rejected her high-spirited daughter, Margaret eloped with a youth and bore him a son out of wedlock. Nine years later when her lover was murdered, Margaret returned as a penitent to her father's house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum.

Margaret first earned a living by nursing sick ladies; later she chose to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Eventually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis (SFO)/ She grew prayer and was believed to be in direct contact with Jesus including frequent ecstasies.

In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others offered work; some gave financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries (SFO). Later they were given the status of a congregation called The "Poor Ones". She founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Through Margaret many returned to the sacraments because of her great love for the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, after twenty-nine years doing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728.

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