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Friday, November 16, 2007

Saint Margaret of Scotland - The “Messy Way” to Serve the Poor

Saint Margaret of Scotland was actually born in Hungary. King Malcolm befriended her family in 1070 and was captivated by her beauty. Margaret married the King of Scotland in that same year at a fairytale wedding in the castle of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland. Margaret’s claim to beauty was not her title as Queen of Scotland or even her personal elegance. Margaret clothed herself with royal compassion for the poor. Her life testified to the fact that personal wealth and power is actually a call to serve.

Although having access to all material goods, Margaret remained detached from the world. Her private life was austere. She had certain times for prayer and reading Scripture. She ate sparingly and slept little in order to have time for devotions. She and Malcolm kept two Lents, one before Easter and one before Christmas. During these times she always rose at midnight for Mass. On the way home she would wash the feet of six poor persons and give them alms. She was always surrounded by beggars in public and never refused them help. It is recorded that she never sat down to eat without first feeding nine orphans and 24 adults in her household.

One blogger said this about Margaret … “There are two ways to be charitable: the ‘clean way’ and the ‘messy way.’ The ‘clean way’ is to give money or clothing to organizations that serve the poor. The ‘messy way’ is dirtying your own hands in personal service to the poor. Margaret's outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. Although very generous with material gifts, Margaret also visited the sick and nursed them with her own hands. She and her husband served orphans and the poor on their knees during Advent and Lent. Like Christ, she was charitable the ‘messy way.’”

1 comment:

Raby Savage said...

Amazing and inspiring!