Saint Margaret of Scotland was born in Hungary sometime around the year 1045 A.D. Her father was an English prince known as Edward the Exile (1016-1057). Her great uncle was Saint Edward the Confessor (c. 1003-1066). From a young age, Margaret was very religious.
In 1057, her father was asked to return to England. It is very likely he would have been declared the successor of Edward if he had not died shortly after arriving in the country. His family remained in England until the Norman invasion of 1066.
While Margaret and her family were fleeing, a storm forced their ship to dock at an area in Scotland now known as Saint Margaret’s Hope. Here, they gained protection from King Malcolm III (unknown-1093) who was a supporter of the Anglo-Saxons. Malcolm’s queen, Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, died in the year 1069. He was then attracted both to Margaret’s beauty and her heritage. They were married in 1070.
All in all, their marriage was very happy. Malcolm had a slight temper and was not very religious but Margaret’s patience eventually changed him. The couple had two daughters and six sons including Saint David I of Scotland.
Because Margaret embraced the Scottish culture, she was widely accepted by the people and was known for her kindness to the poor. She made sure the kingdom had enough priests and she opened several churches and orphanages. Among the ladies, she promoted sewing and embroidery.
Margaret’s hidden life was extremely austere. Her fasts were so severe that she hardly ate anything and, because the life of a queen is so busy, her only time to pray was at night when she should have been sleeping.
During the early 1090s, tensions grew between Scotland and King William II (c. 1056-1100) of England. Several disputes about the border and who had the right to rule caused the Battle of Alnwick. Malcolm led his army not knowing that the English, under the command of the Earl of Northumbria, were planning a surprise attack.
On November 13, 1093, Margaret lost both her husband and her oldest son. She had already been ill and when her son Edmund, the new king, told her what had happened, it was too much for her. Queen Margaret of Scotland died on November 16, 1093.
She was canonized by Pope Innocent IV during the year 1251. She is considered the patron saint of queens, seamstresses, and, with Saint Andrew the Apostle, Scotland. Her feast day is November 16.
Source: Butler’s Lives of the Saints