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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

+ Saint MARGARET CLITHEROE, laywoman, 1586



FORBIDDEN to see husband or child, pestered by successive ministers, and herself charged with gross immorality, Margaret learnt at length, on March 24, that she was to die on the morrow, that year Good Friday. She had prepared herself for this by fasting and prayers but she begged for a maid to be with her during the night! for " though death is my comfort,'' she " the flesh is frail," but as no one could be admitted the keeper's wife sat with her for a while. The first hours of the night Margaret passed on her knees in prayer, clothed in a linen habit made by herself for her passion. At three she rose and laid herself flat on the stones for a quarter of an hour, then rested on her bed. At eight the Sheriffs called, and with them she walked barefoot, going along through the crowd to the Tolbooth. There turning from the ministers she knelt and prayed by herself. Forced to undress, she laid herself on the ground clothed only in the linen habit, her face covered with a handkerchief, her hands outstretched and bound as if on a cross. The weighted door was laid on her ; at the first crushing pain she cried, "Jesu, Mercy,'' and after a quarter of an hour passed to her God.

The Ouse Bridge on which the Tolbooth

I have trodden the wine-press alone. Isaiah lxiii.3

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