at prayer

St. Margaret of Antioch
St Margaret
Feast Day 20 July: Felanitx, Santa Margalida, Santa Maria del Camí, Sa Pobla.

Apochryphal saint, known only from the legends that surround her. Said to be born in Antioch where her father was a priest. Her mother died and she converted to Christianity whereupon her father disowned her.

At some stage she meets the Devil disguised as a dragon. He swallows her but is forced to disgorge her when the cross she is carrying irritates his innards, thereby making her the patron saint of childbirth.

A Roman prefect falls in love with her and wants to bed her or even marry her depending on the version but she has dedicated her chastity to Jesus. Spurned, he denounces her as a Christian.

Subsequently, she is subjected to various forms of torture such as burning and boiling in a cauldron but her prayers save her from death and the thousands watching her ordeal are immediately converted to Christianity, before being put to death in their turn. Finally she is beheaded.

Her voice was one of those heard by Joan of Arc.