Margaret lived in ancient Antioch during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the third century A.D. Margaret’s father was a pagan priest who disowned her when he learned of her conversion to Christianity. She became a shepherdess to support herself but became caught up in the imperial net of persecution when she refused to wed a young officer because she had made a vow of chastity.
In our window, she is pictured at her trial before the Roman governor, witnessing to her faith. Margaret was probably around the age of 14 or 15 at the time of her martyrdom. She lived in a time of disruptive social change, comparable to our own. She lived out a deep faith in her God and has much to teach us about living hopefully and courageously in the face of social confusion and violence. She was very popular in medieval Europe and hers was one of the saints’ voices heard by Saint Joan of Arc. Her feast day is July 20th.