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Re: William the Seemly
Margaret established several churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline.
The Abbey was
built to hold her greatest treasure, a purported fragment of the ‘True
Cross’. If all the
supposed pieces of the ‘True Cross’ were gathered together we could build a
wooden houses. Her book of the Gospels, richly adorned, by her husband
Caenmore (Gaelic “Big Head, ) who could not read, with jewels one day
dropped into a river
and was according to legend miraculously recovered, is now in the Bodleian
library at Oxford.
She foretold the day and place of her death, Edinburgh 16 November 1093, her
buried before the high altar at Dunfermline.
In 1249 (Old Style) 1250 Georgian Margaret was canonized by Innocent IV
1254), and her mortal remains were moved 19 June, 1259, to a new shrine,
the base of which
is still visible beyond the modern east wall of the Dunfermline church.
Reformation her head passed into the possession of Mary Queen of Scots, and
secured by the Jesuits at Douai, where it is believed to have perished
during the French
Revolution. According to George Conn, "De duplici statu religionis apud
1628), the rest of her body, together with those of Malcolm, were acquired
by Philip II of
Spain, and placed in two urns in the Escorial. Bishop Gillies of Edinburgh
Pius IX (Pope 1846-78) for the restoration to Scotland, of Margaret and
they could not be found. A few years later their urns were miraculously
remain in Spain.
The chief authority for Margaret's life is the contemporary biography
printed in "Acta SS.", II,
June. Turgot, Margaret’ confessor, a monk of Durham and later Archbishop of
mentions William the Seemly, he is alleged to have authored the biography
but then the
authorship has also been credited to Theodoric, a somewhat obscure monk.
There has been
much scholarly debate the point remains unsettled.
Ref CHALLONER, Britannia Sancta, I (London, 1745),
BELLESHEIM, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, tr. Blair, III
STEEDMAN Our Island Saints,(London, 1912)
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