Saint Days: Margaret of Antioch, Martyr
St. Margaret of Antioch lived from 289-304. While we aren't completely sure if she existed or not, we do know parts of her story have been fabricated over time (Pope Gelasius I declared her apocryphal in 494). She was, however, highly celebrated during the Medieval era.
She was born to a pagan priest in Antioch. Her mother died in childbirth so she was nursed by a Christian woman. Eventually, she became a Christian and pledged herself to celibacy. Her faith caused her to be disowned by her heathen father.
When she was just 15 years old, a Roman governor tried to win her heart and proposed to her but she held fast to her commitment to Christ. This steadfastness led her to be tortured. in the apocryphal story, she was swallowed by Satan in the form of a dragon but his innards were irritated by a cross so he spit her out. Apparently, during other parts of her torture, her persecutors attempted to draw her but she miraculously survived and won over many converts by her example. She was finally executed by being beheaded.
Let us remember the story of Margaret of Antioch in our prayers today:
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Margaret of Antioch boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.