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Saint Margaret of Clitherow
Saint Margaret of Clitherow

Saint Margaret of Clitherow

Feast Day
Mar 26, 2013
Business Women, Converts, Martyrs, Catholic Women’s League
<p>St. Margaret of Clitherow was born as Margaret Middleton, and was the daughter of a wax craftsman, after Henry VIII of England split the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.&nbsp; She married John Clitherow, a butcher at the age of 15, and they had three children.&nbsp; She converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of 18.&nbsp; He husband was supportive of her conversion, since he had a brother that was a Priest, although he remained Protestant. &nbsp; Her decision aligned her with the persecuted Roman Catholic population in the north of England.&nbsp; Her son Henry went to Reims and became a Priest, and she regularly held Masses in her home in the Shambles in York.&nbsp; They cut holes in the attic of her house and the adjoining house, to enable a Priest to escape in the event of a raid. &nbsp;</p> <p>In 1586, she was arrested and called before the York, charged with the crime of harboring a Roman Catholic Priest.&nbsp; She refused to plead to the case so as to prevent a trial that would involve her children having to testify, so she was immediately subjected to torture.&nbsp; She was executed by being crushed to death &ndash; the standard punishment for the refusal to plead.&nbsp; She was executed on Good Friday, 1586 at the age of thirty.&nbsp; The two sergeants who were assigned to kill her, could not, and hired four desperate beggars to kill her.&nbsp; She was stripped and had a handkerchief tied across her face, then laid out upon a sharp rock the size of a man&rsquo;s fist, a door was put on top of her and slowly loaded with an immense weight of rocks and stones.&nbsp; Her death occurred in fifteen minutes, but she was left as an example for six hours before the weight was removed from her corpse.&nbsp; After her death, her hand was removed and the relic is now housed in the Chapel of the Bar Convent, York.&nbsp; After her execution, Queen Elizabeth I, wrote to the citizens of York to say that she should never have been executed due to her being a woman. &nbsp;</p> <p>A plaque was installed at the end of the Ouse Bridge in 2008, to mark the site of her martyrdom.&nbsp; She was beatified in 1929, by Pope Pius XI and canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI along with martyrs from England and Wales.&nbsp; This group of candidates that were canonized are commonly called, &ldquo;The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales&rdquo;.&nbsp; A number of schools in England are named after her, as well as St. Margaret of York Church and School in Cincinnati, Ohio. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Margaret of Clitherow was married at the age of fifteen and had three children.&nbsp; She was a Protestant that converted to Catholicism.&nbsp; This was about the same time that King Henry VIII had separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.&nbsp; She knew that she would be persecuted if discovered.&nbsp; She had a son that became a Priest and she covertly held Mass in her house daily. She was caught and executed, in a gruesome manner.&nbsp; Her life reminds us just how precious our faith is, and how we have to guard it, protect it, at all times.&nbsp; She laid down her life to spare those around her of having to testify. &nbsp;</p>