The Saints: St. Margaret of Cortona
1247 - 1297 / Feast - Feb. 22
This Italian penitent was the daughter of Tuscan peasants and, for nine years, the mistress of a young nobleman near Montepulciano. After her lover died violently, Margaret and her illegitimate child were given a home by the Franciscans in Cortona. She became a Franciscan tertiary and practiced severe self-denial. Until her son grew up, she earned their living and performed works of charity. In one vision, Christ told her she was “the third light” of the order, after Francis and Clare. Her prayers and counsel prompted many conversions, and she was considered a living saint.