‘This same day [20 July] brings before us a rival of the warrior-martyr, St George: Margaret, like him victorious over the dragon, and like him called in the Menaea of the Greeks, the Great Martyr. The cross was her weapon; and, like the soldier, the virgin, too, consummated her trial in her blood. They were equally renowned in those chivalrous times when valour and faith fought hand in hand for Christ beneath the standard of the saints. So early as the seventh century our Western island rivalled the East in honouring the pearl drawn from the abyss of infidelity. Before the disastrous schism brought about by Henry VIII, the Island of Saints celebrated this feast as a double of the second class; women alone were obliged to rest from servile work in gratitude for the protection afforded them by St Margaret at the moment of childbirth — a favour which ranked her among the saints called in the Middle Ages auxiliaries or helpers. But it was not in England alone that Margaret was invoked, as history proves by the many and illustrious persons of all countries who have borne her blessed name’.
from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB, 1805-1875
Grant, O Lord, that, like as blessed Margaret, thy Virgin and Martyr, by the merits of her chastity and the godliness of her conduct, did ever walk acceptably in thy sight: so she may at all times effectually intercede for our forgiveness; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon