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Margaret Sinclair (nun)

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Margaret Anne Sinclair (born Edinburgh, Scotland 1900: died London, England 1925), a Scottish Roman Catholic nun, was born in Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh in a second-floor flat of a dilapidated tenement block, the third of six children of Andrew, a dustman for Edinburgh City Corporation, and Elizabeth Sinclair.

She was educated at St Anne's School, Cowgate and went on to take a certificate in sewing, cooking and dress-making at the Atholl Crescent School of Cookery and Domestic Economy. At the same time, she worked as a messenger with a business firm in order to help support the two younger children in the family. From 1914 to 1918, she worked full time at Waverley Cabinet Works as an apprentice french polisher, and became an active member of her trade union. In 1918 the Cabinet Works closed down and she found work with McVitie's Biscuit factory.

In 1923 she joined the Poor Clare Colettines at their convent in Notting Hill in west London where she took the religious name Sister Mary Francis of the Five Wounds. In London she worked seeking alms for her order and helping the poor. There she contracted tuberculosis of the throat and died in 1925. She was buried at Kensal Green in north west London, before being reinterred in 1927 at Mount Vernon, Liberton, Edinburgh. Her remains now lie in St. Patrick's Church in Edinburgh.

Over the years since her death, many cures and apparent miracles have been reported as a result of prayers to Margaret. For example, the mother of Sir Jimmy Savile attributed her son's recovery from a fall at the age of two years to prayers offered up after seeing a photograph of Margaret Sinclair in St. Anne's Cathedral, the Roman Catholic cathedral in Leeds.

Margaret Sinclair was declared "Venerable" by Pope Paul VI in 1978. The cause for her canonisation has persisted and, in relation to it, on 1 June 1982 Pope John Paul II stated: "I fully appreciate the aspirations of the Catholics of Scotland for that singular event to be realised and I know that you are praying that it may come about".

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