Margaret of Castello
Feast Day: April 13
Beatified: October 19, 1609
Margaret was born in Florence, Italy, in 1287. She was a great disappointment to her wealthy parents. She was born blind and with very serious spine and leg problems. Her parents were ashamed of her and told people that she had died at birth. They kept her hidden away.
Only her parish priest was allowed to visit her. He taught her about God’s love and the Catholic faith. He brought her Holy Communion. Receiving Jesus’ Body and Blood took away her loneliness because she knew Jesus was always with her.
When she was a teenager, her parents took her to a Franciscan shrine in Castello. They prayed that Margaret would be healed during their pilgrimage. When she was not, they abandoned her, leaving her alone in the strange city.
The people of Castello reached out to Margaret. Homeless people taught her to beg. Even though she slept in doorways or empty buildings, she never complained. In time she met men and women who were lay members of the Dominican order. They prayed together and performed good works for people in need. They invited Margaret to join them in their ministry.
In spite of her physical difficulties, Margaret visited prisoners, helped the sick, and comforted people who were suffering. Soon everyone in the city of Castello knew about Margaret and admired her. It is said that after her death, the entire city attended her funeral and that a crippled young girl was healed during the Mass.
She died at the age of 33. Margaret was declared “Blessed” by the Church in 1609. Many people who suffer from eye or muscular diseases pray to her. She is the patron of children with disabilities.
Connecting to Blest Are We® Parish and School
Grade 4, unit 3