Margaret of Antioch, Saint
- St. Margaret was the daughter of a pagan priest from Antioch who banished her when she converted to Christianity. Margaret went to the countryside where she became a shepherdess and there she was able to practice her faith freely. She rejected the advances of Governor Olybrius who, in retaliation, ordered her torture and imprisonment. While captive, the devil appeared to her in the form of a dragon and swallowed her. Margaret carved her way out of the belly of the beast with a small crucifix she always carried with her. The following day, attempts were made to end her life by fire and drowning, but both efforts were futile as she miraculously emerged unscathed from the flames and water. The thousands of individuals who witnessed the event were immediately converted and executed. Margaret herself was finally beheaded. Because she carved her way out of the dragon's belly, Margaret is the patron saint of childbirth. She is included in that capacity on the bedpost in Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding Portrait (1434; London, National Gallery). In Francisco de Zurbarán's depiction of the saint (1634; London, National Gallery), she stands alongside the dragon, her dress and hat that of a shepherdess. She is also included in Friedrich Herlin's Family Altarpiece (1488; Nördlingen, Städtisches Museum) where she presents female donors to the Virgin and Child.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.
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Margaret of Antioch, Saint — or Saint Marina flourished 3rd or 4th century, Antioch, Syria; Eastern feast day July 13; Western feast day July 20 Early Christian martyr. Tradition held that she was a virgin during the reign of Diocletian. When she refused to marry the Roman… … Universalium
Pelagia Of Antioch, Saint — ▪ Christian saint died c. 311, Antioch, Syria; feast day June 9 15 year old Christian virgin who, probably during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian, threw herself from a housetop to save her chastity and died… … Universalium
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saint — saintless, adj. /saynt/, n. 1. any of certain persons of exceptional holiness of life, formally recognized as such by the Christian Church, esp. by canonization. 2. a person of great holiness, virtue, or benevolence. 3. a founder, sponsor, or… … Universalium
Margaret — /mahr geuh rit, grit/, n. a female given name: from a Greek word meaning pearl. * * * (as used in expressions) Frances Margaret Anderson Edith Margaret Emily Ashcroft Atwood Margaret Eleanor Bourke White Margaret Brent Margaret Margaret Tobin… … Universalium
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