St. Patrick’s and Bl. Margaret of Costello
August 1, 2014
The parishioners and friars of St. Patrick’s Church in Columbus, Ohio, have long had a special devotion to one of the Order’s lesser-known holy women: Blessed Margaret of Castello. The focus of recent devotion to her has been for the protection and healing of the unborn and children with developmental disabilities, making her a fitting intercessor for the Culture of Life. Margaret of Castello was born in a small town in Italy in the year 1287. Born with multiple disabilities, her parents were ashamed of her and imprisoned her at the age of six, before eventually abandoning her. In the midst of her trials and physical handicaps, she lived a striking witness to God’s mercy, showing great holiness until her death at the age of 33. Following the “Great Fire of 1935,” Fr. James McKenna, O.P., established the Bl. Margaret Guild and Shrine at St. Patrick’s; this shrine was expanded to become a separate chapel in the 1970s. The shrine has original statuary and religious art depicting Bl. Margaret, and holds the relic of her incorrupt heart. The friars at Columbus have established the Blessed Margaret Guild for the devotion of the faithful, with the dual intent of promoting the canonization of Bl. Margaret and raising money for various programs to benefit “The Unwanted,” especially the poor and underprivileged; to promote social justice; to advocate for a greater respect for all life; and to promote the principles and ideals carried out by Bl. Margaret in her work as a laywoman of the Dominican Order. For more information about the Bl. Margaret Guild, click here. To learn more about Bl. Margaret herself and the cause for her canonization, click here.
Image: Sr. Mary Grace Thul, O.P., Bl. Margaret