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Re: St. Margaret, if you're tired of this subject, just skip this

At 22:50 06/01/01 -0800, you wrote:
Here is a chapter in "St. Margaret Queen of Scotland" by Alan J. Wilson that
I skipped over before but now am finding some very interesting stuff.
   It says as she lay dying, unaware that her husband and oldest son had
been slain, she asked for her B lack Cross, her Holy Rood, which she then
embraced and kissed. It was contained in a black case with a gold cross set
in diamonds with an ivory figure of Christ on it.   (soon then she learned
of the death of Malcolm and son)
    There is a reference to the "Holy Rood becoming one of the most
important objects in the regalia of Scotland."King David I asked for it as
he was dying.
(I believe that it was so important because it represented the descent from
Margaret of the Cerdic Kings of England but it might be that over the years
this significance might have been forgotten)

   This book also says King Edward I took it with him as he left Scotland in
1291.  "There is an entry in the cataloge of the Castle Treasury dated 23
August 1291, noting that 'a silver case of gold in which the cross called la
blak rode' had been removed." Henry made the Scots swear oaths of loyalty to
him because he knew of its importance to them.  Bishop Wishart of Glasgow
swore 6 times on it and then broke each oath.  It was returned to Scotland
in 1328 at the request of Robert the Bruce in conjunction with the Treaty of
Northampton.  But in 1346 David II took it to battle with him at Neville's
Cross when both of them fell into the hands of the English.  Until the
Reformation it remained in the south aisle of Durham Cathedral, exposed for
veneration but disappeared after that.
  Did you know? from 1250 until the Reformation the feast day of St.
Margaret was 19 June.  In 1693 at the request of James VII and II, it was
moved by Pope Innocent XII to 10 June in order to honour the birth date of
his son, James, who is often referred to as the Old Pretender.  Then in 1903
it was returned to 16 Nov. (the date of her death)  in Scotland, but the
rest of the Roman Church obsderves 10 June.  Her canonisation was  part of a
series of papal favours granted to Scotland in return for the nation's
support of the crusades and in 1247 a 20th of church revenues were collected
for the crusade.

 This would be about the 6th Crusade if we don't count Sicily 1064 and
Hastings 1066.  Jerusalem had fallen to the Khorezmaian Mongols in 1244.
Egypt had offered to be the Christians allies as the Mongols approached but
the Christians were at each others throats (Templars battling Hospitallers)
and didn't respond.   After Jerusalem fell, these Mongols joined the
Egyptian army to wipe out Damascus and Acre, etc. The whole Crusade movement
was generally out of disfavor in Europe except for King (St.) Louis of
France who was financed by Rome (this is where that 20th part of the
Scottish church revenues went) in his attack on Egypt in 1248.  Frederick II
advised against this crusade and even warned the Egyptian Sultan.  Louis was
captured and had to return territory he had captured.  Then he teamed up
with the next wave of Mongols against the Moslems.  But now there was a war
between the Venetians and Genoese that sidetracked their allies who didn't
jump on their chance to take Jerusalem easily and they never got another
chance again.

When Margaret died, she was wrapped in a shroud and prepared to be taken to
her church of the Holy Trinity.  Much secrecy was kept because Donald Bane
was about to take over the castle and throne.  She was taken out of her
private chamber, out of the west yett (what does that mean?) and down the
steep west face of the Castle Rock. by abbot Ethelred of Dunkeld and her
third son, Edgar to Dunfermline.  It was 20 years before Malcolm's body was
brought back from Tynemouth to Scotland.
   Then there is a reference to some miracles happening on 19 June 1250when
her body was transferred to its new shrine of the Lady Chapel on orders of
the Pope who wanted her in a more honorable place. King Alexander III was
    Her undergarment was thought to have holy qualities and was kept at
Dunfermline.  On 19 July 1451 Mary of Gueldres paid "Sex Solidi" for the
undergarment to be present as she gave birth to James III.  Queen Margaret,
the wife of James IV and d/o King Henry VII of England, paid 8 shillings
when Luke of the Wardrobe  was sent to "feche Sanct Margarets Sark" when she
gave birth to James V (father of Mary Queen of Scots) at Linlithgow Palace.
    So there the two of them lay until the followers of the Reformation
desecrated the shrine in the years after 1560.   The relics of the saint
were secretly removed from the abbey.  "George Durie, the last abbot of
Dunfermline, hid her relics at his nearby estate at Craiglusker.   This
author afirms that their bodies were taken to Spain by Philip II and placed
at the St. Lawrence monastery outside Madrid.   Her head with the auburn
hair travelled to Edinburgh castle at the request of Mary Queen of Scots who
again believed this would help during the birth of her son, James VI.  Then
as told before, the head was taken by a Benedictine monk to the castle of
the Laird of Durie, France.  Evidently he was related to the last abbot of
300 years earlier.  This monk continued to guard the head.  Then in 1597 it
was taken to Antwerp by John Robie, a Jesuit missionary.  On Sept. 15, 1620
Bishop John Malderus issued letters of authentication and licensed the relic
for veneration.  "In 1627 the relic was moved once more to the Jesuits of
the Scots College at Douai and kept in a silver case..  There its
authenticiy was attested by Hermann, the bishop of Arras and Boudot his
successor." (now her hair was fair)  Pope Innocent X's 1645 plenary
indulgence for visiting the relic is again described.

Portland, OR


You asked about the meaning of "yett" in the sentence referring to the removal
of Queen Margaret's body 'out of her private chamber and out through the west
Yett = gate.

As for the Holy Rood.  This was returned to Scotland by a Patrick Sinclair who had
(ostensibly) gone to England to ask for the return of Northumbria to Scotland but,
although (unsurprisingly) Northumbria remained an integral part of England, Patrick
returned to Scotland "well satisfied with his mission".

I believe the Holy Rood is in Rosslyn Chapel.  I had a copy of the "Rood" made and
this now 'stands' on the window immediately above the stairs leading to the crypt. It
now appears as if it had always been there but the real "Holy Rood" lies immediately
beneath in the vaults.

The three non-invasive 'scans' which I have conducted of the vaults would tend to
confirm the presence of the "Holy Rood" and of a statue of the "Black Virgin" -
sacred to the Templars and to the Gypsies.

Niven Sinclair

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