Feast Day: May 28
Margaret Plantaganet was born in England. She was the niece of two
English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. King Henry VII arranged
her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole, who was a brave soldier and a
friend of the royal family. They had five children, and Margaret
also privately helped raise the king's son Henry VIII. Years
later, Sir Reginald died leaving Margaret a widow.
The young Henry VIII became king, he called Margaret the holiest
woman in England. He was so impressed with her that he returned
some property her family had lost in the past. He also made her a
countess of Salisbury. Henry trusted her so much that Countess
Margaret was appointed the governess of Princess Mary, his and
Queen Catherine's daughter.
But then Henry tried to marry Anne Boleyn although he was already
married. Margaret told the king that what he did was wrong. This
upset the king very much and he made her leave the court. The king
was even more upset when one of Margaret's sons, a priest (and who
later became the famous Cardinal Reginald Pole), wrote a long
article against Henry's claim to be head of the Church in England.
Henry was out of control. He had become cruel and hateful. He
threatened to get rid of Margaret's whole family. Henry sent
people to question Countess Margaret to prove her a traitor. They
questioned her from noon until evening, but could not find any
fault with her. She had nothing to hide.
Then Margaret was wrongly accused and kept under house arrest at
the castle of a nobleman. She was later moved to the huge tower of
London without even a trial. During the long winter months, she
suffered very much from the cold and dampness. She had no fire and
not enough warm clothing.
Finally, on May 28, 1541, when she was seventy years old, Blessed
Margaret was led out of the tower to the place of execution. She
was tired and sick, but she stood tall and proud to die for her
faith. "I am no traitor," she said bravely. Margaret was beheaded
on Tower hill and died a martyr for her faith in Jesus.