St. Margaret Clitherow

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St. Margaret Clitherow

Feast day August 21

St. Margaret Clitherow, also known as “The Pearl of York,” was an English saint and martyr of the Catholic Church. Born in 1556 in York, England, she converted to Catholicism at a time when the practice of Catholicism was illegal in England.

Margaret married John Clitherow, a butcher and a Protestant, and they had three children. Despite the risks, she practiced her faith openly and even hid priests in her home. In 1586, she was arrested for harboring Catholic priests. Margaret refused to plead, knowing that a trial would involve her children and servants, who might be forced to testify.

For her refusal to plead, she was sentenced to be pressed to death. On March 25, 1586, she suffered a martyr’s death by being crushed under a door loaded with heavy stones. Her feast day is celebrated on March 26.

Margaret Clitherow was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. She is remembered for her steadfast faith and bravery in the face of persecution.

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