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Published Date: January 30, 2008

Published Date: January 30, 2008

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Women and Liturgical Reform

November 16 is the feast day of a remarkable woman: St. Marga­ret of Scotland. Margaret spent most of her early life in Hungary during her father’s exile. She returned to England with her family in 1056 or 1057, and, shortly after this her father died, leaving her brother as a possible heir to the childless Edward the Confessor. But, Edward died in January 1066, and then came the Norman Conquest. Her meeting with King Malcolm altered those plans and set Margaret on the course toward a career of queenship rather than the life of religious contemplation she seems to have wanted.1

According to one source, it was at Wearmouth that she met the widowed King of Scotland, Malcolm Canmore, whom she later married.2 Her husband was present at the laying of the foun­dation stone of Durham Cathedral on 11 August 1093, and the story of her life was written early in the twelfth century by Turgot, Prior of Durham and later Bishop of St. Andrews.

Margaret appears in the Church of England’s present calen­dar of saints as “Queen of Scotland, Philanthropist, Reformer of the Church.” The last appellation is unique. There are other royal saints, and at least one other philanthropist, but no other reform­ers of the church. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the church’s appropriation of Margaret. For this, we must rely on a single piece of evidence: Turgot’s Life.3

The exercise of reading Turgot shows that Margaret is part of a complex picture. It asks us to consider how rival occupa­tions could live side by side—how did she manage her parallel roles of queen, mother, ministering angel to the poor, freer of slaves, formidable disputant in theological debate, and intensely pious woman? There are two key questions for liturgy and gen­der in this. The first concerns the accuracy of this way of read­ing Margaret. Does the church get her right when it recognizes her chiefly for her efforts to revise the ritual and practice of a local church? The second concerns the terms on which women may become saints. Is the church guilty of reforming its notable women by deforming them to fit categories that deny much of the seemingly obvious content of their lives?

Turgot’s account of Margaret’s life

First of all, let us review a summary of Turgot’s account. It was written in response to a request from Margaret’s daughter Matil­da, then married to Henry I of England. Matilda had been sent to a convent very much against her wishes. Her marriage to Henry provided a way out of the convent, but it is not clear that she had much choice in that either. The Life is a model of queenship for Matilda to emulate. Turgot’s assumptions of Margaret’s saintly status predate the church’s recognition of her in 1249 or 1250 by about one hundred fifty years.

The Life is divided into four parts: the first describes Margaret’s noble descent and her attributes as a queen and mother; the sec­ond describes her efforts to enhance the dignity of the kingdom, to rectify church discipline, and to correct abuse in church prac­tice; the third turns to good works and acts of charity, her pattern for observing Lent, and her discipline of prayer; the fourth tells how she prepared for her death.4

Margaret’s biographer effectively constructs multiple genealo­gies for her. He begins by meditating on her name, which means “pearls.” “This pearl,” Turgot says early in is account, “was tak­en from the dunghill of this world and now shines in her place among the jewels of the Eternal King” (47). Another way of deriv­ing her suitability for sainthood is to look at her blood relations. Her grandfather was Edmund Ironside, half-brother to the saint­ly Edward the Confessor. Edward inherited his royal status from his grandfathers Edgar, King of the English, and Richard, Count of Normandy, both known for their piety. Edgar in particular was marked out at birth, for Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, had a vision of angels singing of peace in the Church of England as long as Edgar reigned and Dunstan lived. Richard of Normandy founded the monastery of Fécamp, where he himself used to wait on the brothers. Margaret, in Turgot’s opinion, “completes the glory of this illustrious family” (48). A third way to indicate her sanctity is by placing her in a line that bears comparison to the Davidic kingship. Her great uncle Edward “as another Solomon, that is, a lover of peace [again a game with names], protected his kingdom by peace rather than by arms.” Richard, Edward’s maternal grandfather, was “[e]ndowed with great riches, like a second David” (48). Turgot likens Margaret to Mary of Bethany, “sitting at His feet” and “delighted to hear His word” (49).

Margaret’s marriage to Malcolm Canmore, King of Scotland, circa 1070 was not something she would have chosen for her­self. Malcolm was a widower who gave shelter to Margaret and her siblings on their flight north after the Norman conquest. The Chronicle of Melrose records that . . .

In the year 1070, King Malcolm wasted England as far as Cleveland, and then on his return, at Wearmouth, he granted his peace to the prince Edgar and his sisters Margaret and Christina, whom he found there fleeing from the King of Eng­land, and [intending] to go to Scotland. And afterwards he united Margaret to himself in marriage.5

She took on the duties of queenship with good grace and even enthusiasm, however, and interested herself in the wellbeing of the kingdom. Eventually, she was to build the church of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline with the triple purpose of redeeming Malcolm’s soul, assuring her own salvation, and obtaining pros­perity in this life and the next for her eight children. The church was richly decorated, and later she was to extend the work to the church of St. Andrews where Turgot became bishop. She gathered a group of noblewomen of “approved gravity of conduct” to form an embroidery guild producing vestments and church ornaments. Her conduct was impeccably restrained, her conversation wise, and her general demeanor that of someone whose mind was on heavenly things. Her children were firmly disciplined, instructed in Scripture, and exhorted to love and fear the Lord (51).

The second part of the Life sketches Margaret’s influence on the life of the court. Malcolm’s devotional habits seem to have improved significantly thanks to his sec­ond wife.6 Margaret made Malcolm more attentive to issues of justice and the needs of the poor, and then began to work on his personal practice of faith:

From her also he learned to keep the vigils of the night in prayer: from her exhortation and example he learned to pray with groanings from the heart and abundance of tears. I con­fess I marvelled at this great miracle of the mercy of God [says Turgot surely rather condescendingly] when I saw such ear­nestness of devotion in the King, and such sorrow in heart of a layman when engaged in prayer (52).

Other improvements followed. Margaret encouraged foreign merchants to bring richly colorful garments and ornaments for her subjects to buy. Standards of dress rose markedly, “so that from that time they went about clothed in new costumes of dif­ferent fashions, from the elegance of which they might have been supposed to be a new race” (53). The king’s personal staff was re­placed with “a higher class of servants” who did not exploit their position by oppressing the people. In the palace, servants wore colorful livery, and gold and silver vessels appeared at the table.

Now, Turgot makes an observation that would have been con­ventional in his chosen genre, but to which recent scholarship has returned with some interest:

And this the Queen did not because the honour of the world delighted her, but because she felt compelled to do what the royal dignity required of her. For when she walked in state clad in splendid apparel, as became a Queen, like another Esther, she in her heart trod all these trappings beneath her feet, and bore in mind that under the gems and gold there was nothing but dust and ashes. (53)

The Esther of this comparison has close affinities with what we know as the apocryphal chapters of the Book of Esther. Turgot would have met her in the Vulgate version which, as Lois Huney-cutt has pointed out in an essay on the Esther topos in references to medieval queens,

[r]eflects two separate narrative traditions. The Hebrew version (found in modern-day Protestant Bibles) is a rather straight­forward account that stresses God’s providence rather than Esther’s actions. The Greek version of the story, incorporated into the Vulgate along with the Hebrew version, forms a much more dramatic narrative, stressing Esther’s personal danger in approaching the king unbidden, elaborating on her inner struggle to determine the proper course of action, and empha­sizing the feminine wiles employed by the beautiful queen.7

The Greek version thus lays great stress on the queen’s changes of clothing according to the predicament of the Jewish exiles. Hearing that the Israelites are facing death, she puts on garments of mourn­ing and scatters ashes on her head. After three days in prayer, she puts on her royal robes once more. The narrator tells us that, al­though her face was smiling, her heart was constricted with fear.8

For Turgot, all of this provides a scripturally endorsed expla­nation for the tension between humility, enjoyment of wealth, and readiness to exercise power in the life of Margaret. Huney-cutt lists the key emphases that the Esther comparison allowed him to imply. Esther’s career justifies a lavish lifestyle by turning worldly glory to a worthy use. She is a mod­el of wifely obedience, yet has the courage to disobey the king to see justice done. She is therefore a model for peaceful negotiation toward the stability of the kingdom.9

There is an easy transition at this point from the earthly king­dom to the heavenly as Turgot describes how the vigor of Marga­ret’s faith made her determined to purge the church of “unlawful things which had sprung up within it” (54). He tells of the coun­cils she convened on a regular basis to bring the church into what he calls “the way of truth” (55).

One council occupies most of Turgot’s attention. It was held at St. Andrews in 1074 and resulted in a number of reforms. He paints a dramatic picture of the queen arguing from biblical and patristic evidence against the clergy. Margaret, says her biogra­pher, conducted herself like “another Helena,” “for just as she for­merly overcame the Jews with the authority of the Scriptures, so now did this Queen those who were in error” (55).

Margaret addressed major issues of liturgical practice at the council. First, there was the keeping of Lent, which the Scots be­gan on the Monday after Ash Wednesday, thus reducing the fast to thirty-six days. She also tackled their reluctance to receive com­munion on Easter Day for fear of receiving the sacrament unwor­thily. She assured them that, with proper confession and repen­tance in advance, there was no obstacle to their participation. The catalogue takes on a slightly sensational tone when Turgot comes to the Eucharist. In some parts of the country, he reports “there were some . . . who were wont to celebrate Masses according to I know not what barbarous rite, contrary to the custom of the whole church” (57). After that, he lists a few more offenses, such as marrying a stepmother after one’s father’s death (apparently a standard custom) and working on the Lord’s Day. Against these irregularities, Margaret’s knowledge of Scripture and the Fathers was so formidable that her opponents capitulated and “willingly undertook to adopt whatever she desired” (58).

While Turgot gives an impression of considerable deviation from legitimate practice, a measure of moderation must be intro­duced. The consensus among historians of the Scottish church is that Margaret wished to impose the usage of the church of Rome, as she had experienced it in the form King Stephen had intro­duced at the Hungarian court, on perfectly orthodox local Chris­tians. Ian Muirhead argues that it is important to refute the notion of a Celtic church, radically distinct from its Roman mother:

Christianity operated in lands linguistically Celtic, as in others, and its material objects—manuscripts, monuments, ecclesias­tical furnishings—might show the imprint of Celtic art forms. There is no evidence that it used any language other than Latin for its services, or in its scriptures (though sermons might be in the vernacular). As Jocelyn Toynbee wrote many years ago, “the so-called Celtic Church, surviving continuously in the west and north, was thoroughly Roman in creed and origins; Roman too initially in its organisation and practise.”10

A number of local differences might have existed and would not have pleased those used to a different style.11 Muirhead concludes:

There is undoubtedly a certain oddness in the glimpses we get of worship in the early Christian centuries, and one can understand how clerics like Wilfrid, fresh and enthusiastic for Roman ways, or Queen Margaret’s chaplain Turgot, unaware of any principles of historical development, meeting “periph­eral survivals,” mistook them for “separatist heresies.” Turgot spoke of the Queen’s subjects celebrating mass in “I know not what barbarous rite.” Oddities and survivals must not blind the student to the fact that the differences are superficial and the underlying patterns are those which develop into the me­dieval forms of worship of the next period.12

The reform of the church leads into a discussion of Margaret’s spiritual discipline in the third part of the Life. She outshone all others in prayer, fasting, and acts of charity—to the point of ex­cess. She would go out among the people and distribute articles for the relief of the poor. When these ran out, her attendants spontaneously offered garments and other possessions. She fre­quently removed items of the king’s property for almsgiving and was even known to help herself to his gold Maundy Thursday coins to give to the poor.

Margaret ransomed a number of English captives who were enslaved in Scotland and visited the many hermits living in the kingdom. Her Lenten and Advent observances were even more conspicuous. Not only did she spend most of the night saying the psalms and offices in the monastic church, she then returned to join the king in washing the feet of six poor people. After a short sleep, she read the psalms while feeding nine orphans. At the same time, three hundred poor people were being ushered into the hall. The king and queen waited on them there, watched only by the chaplains, a few monks, and some attendants. Then the queen returned to the church, where she would . . .

offer herself sacrifice to God with many prayers, sighs and tears. For besides the Hours of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Cross, and the Holy Mary, recited within the space of a day and a night, she would on these holy days repeat the Psalter twice on thrice, and before the celebration of the Public mass cause five or six Masses to be sung privately in her presence. (62)

By then, it was time for another meal, but Margaret did not eat until she had fed twenty-four poor people. In addition, she had twenty-four regular dependants whom she fed throughout the year.13 Turgot notes that she ate “only to sustain life and not to please her palate” on ordinary occasions so that, when she fasted, “the abstinence with which she was in the habit of afflicting her­self was incredible” (62). The result was permanent and severe pain in the stomach.

It is a clever move on the hagiographer’s part to dwell on prayer, charity, and fasting here, because they dominate his next observation, which is that Margaret performed none of the mira­cles usually required for sainthood. Instead, he says:

[m]iracles are common to the evil and to the good, but the works of true piety and charity belong to the good alone. The former sometimes indicate holiness, but the latter are holiness itself. Let us, I say, admire in Margaret the things which made her a saint, rather than the miracles, if she did any, which might only have indicated that she was one to men. (63)

He permits himself one astonishing episode (obviously the only one he is able to think of) concerning a gospel book dropped into a ford by one of her attendants. A lengthy search ensued until the book was found at the bottom of the stream. It was hardly dam­aged at all except for some faint water marks. Turgot regards this as a miracle “wrought by our Lord because of His love for this venerable Queen” (64).

The last part of the Life tells how she prepared for death and how it finally came to her. It seems that she had a premonition of death, and, having wept with Turgot over the events of her life, she asked him to remember her at Mass and to watch over the spiritual development of her children. It was not Turgot who was with her when she died. He mentions another priest whom she loved particularly and who later became a monk in Durham. This priest testified to her uncanny knowledge that Malcolm had been killed in battle before it actually was reported. She was almost too weak to make her communion for the last time and, after that, hardly able to call for the black cross which was especially precious to her. She was holding the cross and reciting Psalm 51 [Vulgate 50] when her son came in to announce his father’s death. She took the news with resignation, since she knew this already, and while she was saying a last prayer, died peacefully.

Themes from Margaret’s story

What are we to make of all this? There are a number of strands to be drawn together into the single thread of Margaret’s story, and it remains to find some principle of coherence in her intense personal piety, her wish to alter the customs of the church, her extravagant practice of charity, her taste in beautiful fabrics and furnishings, and the discipline she exercised over her children and on herself. There are several contradictions, notably rigorous pri­vate faith against a desire for a public role in the church and asceti­cism and self-denial against acquisition of opulent possessions.

One possibility is to adopt a reading not unlike the one Tur­got offered Matilda, which is to concentrate on those elements of Margaret’s life that can teach us something. In other words, it retrieves her uncritically from the eleventh century for contem­porary Christians. This has been done recently by Sister Lavinia Byrne, who presents the heroine like this:

Margaret of Scotland was a reconciler and reformer, a scholar and an embroideress, a wife and a mother. In her, the line of the old Saxon kings of England was linked with the new dynasty of the Norman kings. We know about her because her biographer, Turgot, wrote a lyrical account of her life. But what is the importance of this life nowadays? Why should we care? Margaret of Scotland stands at a key point in British his­tory and is pivotal to the unravelling of its meaning. In our own times, as we face transition, devolution and the emer­gence of a new nationalism, her story has a curious relevance. It is a story for our age.14

Byrne goes on to put the best possible face on Turgot’s Life. At times, the point is stretched perilously thin. Margaret’s love of rich textiles and colorful clothes becomes a sign of her incarna­tional intelligence: “a Word who is made flesh has to be honoured in the body, in what we see and touch and love. In turn these give the context within which we practise any austerities or private disciplines of denial.”15 The same kind of argument is used to ex­plain the gap between her wealth and her ministry to the poor:

If she fed the poor and knelt down at their feet and served them, it was because she wanted to do good, not demolish the structures which enabled her to have money, power and influence to exercise on their behalf. To read her story in any other way would be to impose late twentieth-century ideas of equality on it.16

There is another way to present the conditions Margaret fought to impose, which is intimately tied to the freedoms and con­straints of her role. On the one hand, none of the changes would have come about—or not perhaps at that time—had she not been queen of Scotland. It is also unlikely that she would have been canonized. The role of queen gave medieval women an unusual position of authority. Dynastic marriages meant that they had influential relations. Their exalted position guaranteed the coop­eration of prominent churchmen. All of these factors helped give them opportunities to pursue their interests by concrete action. Jane Tibbets Schulenberg, in a survey of the public and private roles of women across the period 500–1100, writes:

[T]he office of queenship continued to provide visibility for women and access to sainthood. We therefore find at the end of this period a saint sum as Queen Margaret of Scotland (d. 1093) who in many ways is reminiscent of the prominent Merovin­gian and Anglo-Saxon women of the golden age of sanctity. As queen (consocia), St. Margaret played a major public role. Renowned for her learning, she was active in the reform move­ment and amended councils and set policy. The author of her vita also praised the queen’s domestic proficiency (especially her involvement in needlework) and her role as mother.17

Donald Weinstein and Rudolph Bell argued that a visible role as a practitioner of charity in the community often commanded as much reverence from the faithful as miracles:

What [such people] did any human being might do, but they were the ones who projected superhuman dedication, thor­oughness and effect. Great nurturing saints came to the fore in every era and for every kind of human need: Bononio and Margaret of Scotland were among those eleventh-century saints dedicated to ransoming Christian prisoners.18

But, on the other hand, all this display of generosity and decision-making masks a real absence of power. A woman in Margaret’s position owned nothing. Her charity depended on begging from her husband or deceiving him and stealing from him. Her au­thority in councils depended on her marital relationship to him. So, in a curious way, the giver has to be transformed into some­thing like the object of charity—the poor person, the beggar, the thief, and, more importantly perhaps, the hungry.

Another facet of Margaret’s forceful will is her rigorous re­gime of prayer and abstinence. She is one of a number of me­dieval married women who committed themselves to extremely harsh rules of life as part of their religious discipline. This has been explained as a powerful form of identification with the pas­sion of the incarnate Christ. Its manifestation included severe fasting, often leading to physical illness. Rudolph Bell, in a book entitled Holy Anorexia, writes:

[t]hese women identified with the suffering of Jesus on the cross both as victim and as aggressor. In their bodies they shared with all humankind the guilt of original sin, the re­sponsibility for demanding the death of the Redeemer. In their souls they shared with their Bridegroom the exquisite plea­sure of making the ultimate sacrifice and of finally laying their anger to rest. Thus they declared unremitting war against their bodies, carrying their ascetic masochism to levels unknown among virginal holy anorexics and thereby narrowly escaping the schizophrenic depths against which they battled.19

Building on Bell’s research, Caroline Walker Bynum traces a con­nection between medieval women’s eucharistic piety and their relationship with food: “Hagiographers were thus expected to in­clude at least passing reference to food abstention and eucharistic piety in their accounts of pious people.”20

A more sophisticated reading comes from Edith Wyschogrod, who presents the physical suffering of the saints as an expression of desire: a desire for the insatiable call of the needy, suffering other, and a desire to alleviate that need and suffering. She readily admits that this is an ambiguous form of desire:

There is a paradox connected with the imitatio Christi aspect of Christian saintliness bound up with saintly suffering that is worth noting: on the one hand the saint alleviates suffering but on the other imposes it on herself/himself. Is it not the obligation of another, if not the saint’s own responsibility, to alleviate this personal suffering?21

Wyschogrod finds a possible resolution in the Dialogues of St. Catherine of Siena. Catherine says that “in this life guilt is not atoned for by suffering as suffering but rather by suffering borne with desire, love and contrition of heart. . . . The value is not in the suffering but in the soul’s desire.”22 In the case of Margaret, we see this analysis played out in the tensions between public decision-making and physical weakness, between fulfilling the desires of the people and refusing her own desires (e.g., for food and sleep) in order to meet their needs, between a consciousness of her identity as the queen, and a sense, never resolved, that she was not good enough for God.

This may look like a conscientious attempt at debunking, and certainly we have to be aware at some level that Turgot, like many hagiographers, had a strategic purpose. Derek Baker has suggest­ed more convincingly that the cult of Edward the Confessor was gaining in strength at the beginning of the twelfth century and that the monk saw his chance to attach Margaret’s cult to that of her illustrious great-uncle.23

Rereading Turgot’s Life in the light of modern scholarship in aspects of church history, medieval studies, gender studies, and moral philosophy has suggested a more critical and sometimes less palatable view of the heroine. The present exercise has rec­ognized Margaret in her own right, as a woman of her times, ex­pressing the concerns of her age. It has also shown that she used her position as queen to arrange a form of public faith that met with her tastes, she insisted on an extravagant style of courtly life in marked contrast to the poverty of most of her subjects, she practiced a form of conspicuous charity that sometimes de­pended on idiosyncratic minor dishonesties, and she inflicted dangerous deprivations on her own body.

A saint in three dimensions

The perspective of contemporary history is perhaps an impor­tant control on our judgment of a woman of the eleventh century. All-embracing judgments are always subject to revision. There is never a final position, and every age will make its own appropria­tion. Edith Wyschogrod insists that the analysis of saintly moti­vation lies beyond our reach, and that there may always be a lin­gering doubt hanging over the connection between the personal neediness of the saint and his or her reaching out to others. But, there is another side to this complexity:

In reply, it can be argued that certainty would nullify the character of existence as risk and constitute a misreading of life-histories as selfcertifyingly hagiographic. Whether there are political saints is a question that en principe cannot be de­cided. The narrative’s addressee must risk making the motions after the story’s protagonist or refuse to do so, itself a signifi­cant choice.24

This is exactly why the church needs to keep the stories of the saints alive—and by alive I mean open to question, though not tarnished by cynicism. The imposition of classifications helps us only to a limited extent. After that, they become ways of making three-dimensional people two-dimensional. Women saints have perhaps suffered more from the labeling process than their male counterparts. The Book of Common Prayer reminds us that we are “knit together” with the saints in “one communion and fellow­ship,” and expresses the hope that we might follow the example of those who have gone before us “in all virtuous and godly living.” It wisely refrains from suggesting that virtue and godliness are the only dimensions of the lives of the saints. Their imperfect human­ity is a great consolation for those who strive toward the eternal contentment, so strange to contemporary ears that recent revi­sions have altered it—“those unspeakable joys, which [God] has . . . prepared for them that unfeignedly love [him].”25


  1. John Duke notes that Margaret’s wish to be a nun is attested by the Historia Ecclesiae of Ordericus Vitalis Migne PL clxxxviii col. 620. See John A. Duke, History of the Church of Scotland to the Reformation (Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1937), 72 n.
  2. The Chronicle of Melrose.
  3. Turgot, Bishop of St. Andrews, The Life of Saint Margaret Queen of Scotland, tr. W. M. Metcalfe, first published in Metcalfe Ancient Lives of Scottish Saints (Paisley: Alexander Gardner, 1895). Repr. in Lives of the Scot­tish Saints (Lampeter, Llanerch Enterprises, 1990), 43–69. All quotations from the Life will be referenced by page numbers in the body of the text.
  4. The structural conventions of the saint’s life genre have been dem­onstrated by Regis Boyer, who shows that all or some of the following nine steps are typical: (1) origin in a noble family or a family of respect­able social standing, (2) miraculous birth or birth predicted by wise peo­ple, (3) special qualities and precocious wisdom evident in childhood, (4) clear educational development, (5) piety, (6) martyrdom—more detailed usually than other elements of a Life, (7) inventio—discovery of relics or body and accompanying miracles, (8) translatio—relics are taken to the place where they are venerated at the time when the Life is written, (9) miracles. See Regis Boyer, “An attempt to define the typology of medieval hagiography,” in Hans Bekker-Nielsen, ed., Hagiography and Medieval Literature (Odense: Odense University Press, 1981), 27–36.
  5. A. O. Anderson, Early Sources of Scottish History AD 500–1286 [1922], rev. Marjorie Anderson (Stamford: Paul Watkins, 1990), vol. 2, 23.
  6. See Gordon Donaldson, The Faith of the Scots (London: Batsford, 1994), 26: “It has been suggested that Margaret’s zeal owed something to her experience of a land where Christianity was an exciting novelty and where, after the death of St. Stephen (1038), the Christian party had to contend with a pagan reaction. However, as it had been only about 995 that the Earl of Orkney had been coerced into baptism, [his daughter Ingeborg] Malcolm’s first wife may also have imbibed the zeal of recent converts and he may have been the victim—if that is the word—of two demonstratively zealous wives.”
  7. Lois L. Huneycutt, “Intercession and the High-Medieval Queen: The Esther Topos,” in Jennifer Carpenter and Sally-Beth MacLean, eds., Power of the Weak: Studies on Medieval Women (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1995), 126–46, 128. See also Pauline Stafford, Queens. Concubines and Dowagers: The King’s Wife in the Early Middle Ages (London: Batsford, 1983), esp. 25.
  8. The apocryphal chapters of Esther, esp. chs. 14–15.
  9. Huneycutt, “Intercession,” 129.
  10. Ian Muirhead, “The Beginnings,” in D. Forrester and D. Murray, eds., Studies in the History of Worship in Scotland (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1984), 1–16, 7.
  11. The possibilities are enumerated by F. E. Warren in The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church, 2nd ed., ed. Jane Stevenson (Woodbridge: Boyden Press, 1987), 96ff.
  12. Muirhead, “The Beginnings,” 12.
  13. These must be symbolic numbers, but I have not found any ex­planation for them.
  14. Lavinia Byrne, The Life and Wisdom of Margaret of Scotland (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998), ix.
  15. Byrne, Life and Wisdom, 20–21.
  16. Byrne, Life and Wisdom, 21.
  17. Jane Tibbets Schulenberg, “Female Sanctity: Public and Private Roles, ca. 500–1100,” in Mary Erler and Maryanne Kowaleski, eds., Women and Power in the Middle Ages (Athens, Ga.: University of Geor­gia Press, 1988), 102–25, 118.
  18. Donald Weinstein and Rudolph M. Bell, Saints and Society (Chi­cago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 157.
  19. Rudolph M. Bell, Holy Anorexia (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chi­cago Press, 1985), 113.
  20. Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1987). See also Lynda L. Coon, Sacred Fictions: Holy Women and Hagiography in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997).
  21. Edith Wyschogrod, Saints and Postmodernism: Revisioning Mor­al Philosophy (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 38.
  22. Wyschogrod, Saints and Postmodernism, 38.
  23. Derek Baker, “‘A Nursery of Saints’: Saint Margaret of Scotland Reconsidered,” in Derek Baker, ed., Medieval Women (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1978), 119–41, 124–25.
  24. Wyschogrod, Saints and Postmodernism,161–62.
  25. The Book of Common Prayer, 1662, Collect for All Saints Day (1 November).

CBE thanks Ushaw College, Durham, England, for permission to print this article.