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Margaret of Castello

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Margaret of Castello (1287–1320) is a Roman Catholic Church patron of the poor, crippled, and the unwanted.

She was born blind, lame, deformed, hunchbacked and a midget, into a family of nobles in the castle of Metola, in southeast of Florence. As a child, her parents imprisoned her for 14 years so no one would see her, though she could attend Mass and receive the sacraments. Her parents took her to a shrine to pray for a cure for her birth defects. When no miracle happened, they abandoned her. She lived in prayer and charity, helping the poor. When she died, crowds at her funeral demanded she be buried inside the church. After a crippled girl was miraculously cured at the funeral, the priest allowed Margaret's burial inside.

In 1558, her remains were transferred because her coffin was rotten. Her clothes were also rotten, but her body was preserved. She was beatified on October 19, 1609 by Pope Paul V. Her canonization is pending.

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