Today's Saint (July 20): Margaret of Antioch, Virgin & Martyr

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Although Margaret - also known as Saint Marina - is a person who is more legendary than historical, she is thought of as a courageous Christian woman who was martyred for preaching the Gospel during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

The story of her pious life was popular in England and elsewhere in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, and provided inspiration to those engaged in rolling back the tide of the Muslim invasion of Europe.

She is invoked by women in travail, and in art (as she is in the accompanying picture) is oftentimes represented with a dragon, representing her conflict with the devil.

Margaret is truly a testimony to steadfastness in the face of danger. "The ungodly laid wait for me to destroy me: but I will consider my testimonies, O Lord: I see that all things come to an end, but thy commandment is exceeding broad." (the day's Introit, page F 36, People's Anglican Missal)

Margaret's Mass Propers
Catholic Encyclopedia article

Books worth considering
Fox's Book of Martyrs
Reason Is Beguiled: On the Mystery of Martyrdom & of Total Self Gift
By Their Blood: Christian Martyrs of the Twentieth Century
Seasons in Spirituality: Reflections on Vincentian Spirituality in Today's World
Vincent De Paul & Louise De Marillac: Rules, Conferences, & Writings
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)amazon
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)amazon

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church