Blessed Margaret of Castello was beatified on Oct. 19, 1609. She was born to a wealthy family, and when they saw that she was hunchback, dwarf, blind and lame, they were ashamed of her and kept her hidden from view. Eventually, to make sure nobody saw her condition, the family kept her enclosed in a prison-like cell. One day they took her to a Franciscan Shrine, but then abandoned her there.
Despite her miseries, Margaret was serene, cheerful and courageous. She found strength in prayer, in daily Mass, in Holy Communion, and eventually became a sister of the order of St. Dominic. She has become an inspiration to those who are discouraged and tempted to self-pity. Her story likewise provides a good examination of conscience. If we were around at the time of Blessed Margaret and knew that her family was keeping her in a cell, would we have spoken up for her?
Blessed Margaret is the Patron Saint of the Unwanted.
Prayer in Honor of Blessed Margaret of Castello:
Your care extends to every human person,
No matter what afflictions they suffer,
And you uphold the dignity of every human life,
Regardless of the false ways that the world may calculate its value.
You gave us Blessed Margaret of Castello as a sign and a challenge.
You permitted your glory to shine through her human weakness,
And called those around her to love her
Despite her physical limitations.
Forgive us when we fail to defend the least among us.
Through the intercession of Blessed Margaret,
Give us grace to speak up for the outcast
and to welcome those who are rejected.
When this brief life is over,
Grant that we who have welcomed all our brothers and sisters,
May be welcomed by you into the life that never ends.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.