Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP
Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP, (1287-1320) was born into a noble family of Metola, southeast of Florence: hunchbacked, deformed, blind, lame and a midget. When she was about six years of age, her parents walled her up beside a chapel. There she could only attend Mass and receive the Sacraments.
After fourteen years of imprisonment, her parents took her to a shrine in Cittá-di-Castello to pray for a cure: the tomb of a holy man named Fra Giacomo. When no cure took place they abandoned her. Eventually she became a lay Dominican and spent the rest of her life in prayer and works of mercy.
Blessed Margaret lived in prayer and charity, helping the poor. When she died at the age of thirty-three, the townspeople thronged to her funeral and demanded that she be buried inside the Church of Saint Dominic. After a crippled girl was miraculously cured at the funeral, the priest allowed Margaret’s burial inside the church.
Margaret’s remains were transferred because her coffin was rotten. Her clothes were also rotten, but her body was preserved. She was beatified on 19 October 1609 by Pope Paul V. Her canonization is pending.
Blessed Margaret of Castello, OP, is the patron of Right-To-Life groups, the Handicapped, and the Physically Challenged.