Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org
Margaret was born into a family of nobles in the Castle of Metola, near Mercatello sul Metauro, then under the rule of the autonomous town of Città di Castello. She was born blind, with severe curvature of the spine, had difficulty walking, and was a dwarf. Though she was hid from all by her parents, soon after she was born a kindly maid found her and gave her the name of Margaret meaning "Pearl".
When she was about twenty, Margaret's parents took her to a shrine in the Franciscan church in Castello, where miracles were reportedly being wrought, to pray for a cure for her birth defects. When no miracle happened, they abandoned her. She was eventually given hospitality in a local monastery of nuns. Their lax way of life, however, soon conflicted with Margaret's intense spirituality and she was expelled from the monastery. She then took up residence in the town, where the townsfolk resumed caring for her. To thank them for their kindness, Margaret opened a small school for the children of the town, where she instructed them in the faith, and the psalms, which she had learned by heart from her time with the nuns.
About the age of fifteen, Margaret came to know the friars of the Dominican Order who had recently become established in the town. She came under their spiritual guidance, and was admitted to the local fraternity of the Third Order of St. Dominic, receiving the religious habit of the Order. She wore this for the rest of her life.
Bl. Margaret died on April 13, 1320 at the age of 33. More than 200 miracles have been credited to her intercession since her death. She was beatified in 1609. Thus, the daughter that nobody wanted is now one of the glories of the Church.
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