Thursday, November 1, 2012

For All the Saints



By M. Dibdon Spooner
Sunday, November 4, 2012

All Saints Sunday

Mark 12:28-34

Good morning, boys and girls!  Today I want to tell you about someone very special.  Her name is Margaret.  Margaret was born nearly one thousand years ago, in the  year 1045.  She was raised as a member of the Hungarian court, like a princess, because her family was related to the king.  When she was 12 years old, she was sent to England to get more education.  Then the Normans conquered and took over England.  Margaret, her mother and her brother tried to escape in a ship and return to Hungary.  Their ship was blown off course, and landed instead in Scotland--a rather wild country in the opposite direction of where they were trying to go.
Margaret and her family were welcomed by Scottish King Malcolm III.  King Malcolm fell in love with the beautiful and gentle Margaret.  They were married in 1070, when Margaret was 25 years old.

Like I said, Scotland was a rather wild place at this time.  King Malcolm was a good man, but he was more of a soldier than a gentleman.  Margaret helped him to become a gracious leader.  Together they cared about the poor and did all they could to help them.  King Malcolm and Queen Margaret had 8 children, and all of them grew to love and care for the poor as their parents had.Margaret was a prayerful person. 

She gathered women together to study the Scriptures and sew decorations for the church.  She was always surrounded by beggars, and gave them food, money and clothes.  She set up hospitals and homes for people in need.  During the special seasons of Advent and Lent, she and her husband would wash the feet of people in need and give them money on their way home from church.  Margaret fed children who had no parents.  She brought a love of art and education to her people, and the people loved her in return.  Margaret's children were wonderful leaders who followed their parents' example, and brought Scotland years of peace and prosperity.

Margaret was a kind and generous leader, and someone who lived her faith each and every day by showing God's love to everyone. In the year 1250, the Catholic Church decided that Margaret should be declared a saint, and she became the special saint of Scotland.

The Apostle Paul was a follower of Jesus almost two thousand years ago.  Paul wrote some of the Bible, and he is sometimes called St. Paul. Paul was an important man in helping to build and grow the church when Christianity was a brand, new religion.  Paul wrote that all Christian believers are saints. Not only people whose faith and good works made them famous and brought special recognition, like Margaret of Scotland, but also people like you and me and everyone sitting in this church.  All of us who believe in God and love Jesus and want to serve Him are saints. I recently read this about saints:

"Saints are big dreamers. They believe that with God on their side, no one and nothing can stop them. Saints are go-getters. They don’t wait for someone else to do good first; they jump right in. Saints are love-bringers. They try to see Christ in every person and every situation. Saints tell us what matters most in life is not what we earn or own, not the job we have or the people we know. What really matters is how much we love God, others, and ourselves, and how well we show that love in all we do."  (Loyola Press Website)

Let's pray together,
Dear God, we thank you for our brothers and sisters in Christ who teach us by example what it means to be a faithful disciple.  We thank-you for those who went before us, like Margaret of Scotland, and for their stories which help us learn how to follow Jesus, and for those we meet every day who are kind and generous and loving.  Help us, too, Lord, to show your love in all we do and say.  Amen.

In preparing this story, I came across the Loyola Press website, which has wonderful Saints stories written for children.  I highly recommend it!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this story. I am a School Chaplain and wanted to do something around the theme of Saints - just felt a bit stuck and then read your story of St Margaret.

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    1. Jill, I'm glad the story was helpful. Be sure to check out the Loyola Press website--it is an excellent resource for a variety of saints' stories.

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  2. What is the source of the quotation beginning "Saints are big dreamers..."?
    Lori

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    1. Thank-you for asking. The quote came from the Loyola Press website that I sited in the post, in the description of All Saints' Day--http://www.loyolapress.com/saints-stories-for-kids.htm?cId=402711

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