The written legend of Saint Margaret's life tells that she practiced severe austerities and penance from a very early age, including self-scourging and wearing shoes spiked with nails. She always sought to perform the most menial work in the convent and neglected the cares of the world. Her severe chastisements certainly contributed to her death at the very young age of twenty-eight.
Aside from the severity of penance, however, Saint Margaret is also depicted with many warmly human touches. For instance, the convent sacristan told of how the young Saint would stroke her hand and coax her to leave the door of the choir open after compline so that she may spend the night in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Saint Margaret's complete devotion to Christ is an inspiration and model for all Dominicans and faithful everywhere.
O God of truth,
through the power of Holy Spirit
you willed that Saint Margaret
should shine forth with the grace of self-denial.
In yielding always to your will
may we fulfill what is pleasing in your sight.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
IMAGE: The Death of Saint Margaret, Jozsef Molinar (1821-1899)