St. Margaret of Cortona

Together let’s rediscover our saintly companions on our journey of faith. Today we visit St. Margaret of Cortona one of the great Franciscan saints.

Who is St. Margaret of Cortona?
In 1277, three years after her conversion, Margaret became a Franciscan tertiary. Under the direction of her Franciscan confessor, who sometimes had to order her to moderate her self-denial, she pursued a life of prayer and penance at Cortona. There she established a hospital and founded a congregation of tertiary sisters. The poor and humble Margaret was, like St. Francis, devoted to the Eucharist and to the passion of Jesus. These devotions fueled her great charity and drew sinners to her for advice and inspiration. Visit Franciscan Media, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars (OFM), for a short audio and written reflection on the history St. Margaret of Cortona.

Saints and their Attributes
Artists have developed standard ways of representing saints, allowing their images to be ‘read’ to reveal their identities. Artists often show saints with particular symbols, known as attributes. These attributes are reminders of how a saint was martyred, while others recall important actions or events from their life. Through attributes we are able to identify the saints and tell their stories.

What are St. Margaret’s attributes?
Various attributes are used to depict St. Margaret of Cortona (In ecstasy; two angels supporting her; Our Savior appearing in glory; Franciscan nun, a little dog at her feet, etc…). The ones used in St. Mary’s Basilica stained glass window is St. Margaret holding a cross and instruments of the Passion.

Cross and Instruments of the Passion:
St. Margaret showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Patron Saint of:
Single Mothers
Mental Illness

Feast Day:
May 16

Prayer to St. Margaret of Cortona:
O glorious St. Margaret, you embarked on a life of penance and poverty after you repented of your sins. Jesus touched your heart,and after imposing on yourself a rigorous life of fasting, Jesus talked and conversed with you, revealing to you his merciful heart that rejoices whenever a sinner returns to him. On controlling your appetite for food, you managed to free yourself from all temptations, including those of the flesh of which you were a victim for many years. Listen then to our petitions. May you bring our petitions to Jesus. Amen.

Docent Tours

To schedule a group docent tour to explore the history, architecture, art, sacred symbols and mission of St. Mary’s Basilica please contact us.

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