Over a thousand people came to Dunfermline last Sunday to take part in a new summer pilgrimage honouring St. Margaret of Scotland. The Pilgrims were led by a school pipe band and the relics of St. Margaret were carried by the Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh. The amount of people that turned up was unexpected as the Archbishop says he hoped only to fill the church.
St. Margaret was born in Hungary as the daughter of Edward the Exile and Agatha. Her brother Edgar was briefly King of England. She became Queen of Scots in 1070, as the wife of Malcolm III of Scotland. She was known for her piety and charitable work. She and Malcolm had eight children, including three kings of Scotland.
St. Margaret was canonised in 1250 by Pope Innocent IV for her personal piety, fidelity to the church, charity and religious reform. She was initially buried in Dunfermline Abbey, but her remains appear lost now.
A summer pilgrimage to St. Margaret’s shrine in Dunfermline Abbey has been a tradition from her death until the late 16th century. It was first revived in 1899 and continued until 1974. This was the first pilgrimage in 41 years.