|Blessed Margaret Pole|
I called my piece last week on St. Julia of Corsica [here] “A Saint For Our Times”; when I think about it, I have yet to find a Saint who isn’t for our times. But today’s Saint, Blessed Margaret Pole, who gave her life in defense of the sanctity of marriage, seems especially suited to the situation of our increasingly post-Christian culture. The niece of kings, Blessed Margaret was martyred because she refused to applaud publicly the sacrifice of Holy Matrimony to a third king’s lust.
People come and go, but human nature doesn’t change. King Henry is long gone, but his imitators are still with us. Like Henry, they are not satisfied with mere tolerance or tacit assent: they require full-throated public approval, and so the Margaret Poles must be silenced. Nobody is literally being led to the block, thankfully, and pray God it never comes to that. Nevertheless, as we have seen over and over again, those who stand up for Church, family, and traditional moral norms today, even if they do so privately, can expect to have their character blackened and their livelihoods threatened.
I have often heard Blessed Margaret’s younger and much better known contemporary, St. Thomas More, proposed as a Patron Saint for our times because of his martyrdom in defense of the Church and Marriage. Like him, Blessed Margaret's firm reliance on Christ's loving care gave her the strength to stand fast in face of mortal threats, and the serenity not to be swallowed up in bitterness against her persecutors. We would do well to invoke Blessed Margaret Pole along with St. Thomas More, and to pray for her intercession against the ravenous spirit of Henry VIII that yet again threatens both Faith and Family.