Margaret of Antioch

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"St. Margarete with a group of holy virgins ”, Bartholomäus Zeitblom (around 1489–1497) in Ulm Minster

Margaret of Antioch , in the Orthodox Church of Marina , (* in Pisidia ; † around 305) was a consecrated virgin and martyr at the turn of the 3rd to 4th century.


version 1

Winged altar Oberbobritzsch: on the left execution of St. Barbara of Nicomedia, right St. Margaret of Antioch

Margareta was the daughter of a pagan priest and was raised by a Christian wet nurse . When the father noticed the daughter's turn to the Christian faith, he denounced her to the city ​​prefect . When put on trial, she aroused the request of the judge, who punished her all the more severely when she rejected him: she should be burned with torches and fried in oil. When she was reportedly unharmed during the procedure, she was beheaded. Many people were baptized as a result .

Variant 2

The legend of the dragon on the tympanum of the west portal of the Lieding parish church , Carinthia
Margaret of Antioch in a stained glass window in the Sint Janskerk in Gouda
The St. Margaretha consecrated Justinuskirche in Frankfurt-Höchst

The other tradition sees her as a shepherdess and the city prefect (with the name of Olybrius) as the one who desired her and whom she rejected. Margareta was tortured with iron combs and torches in prison. Her wounds healed again and again, so there were an extraordinary number of conversions here too. Eventually Margareta was executed by beheading.

This second tradition has extensions that are significant for today's veneration of Margareta: In prison, a giant dragon (often the transformed city ​​prefect ) appeared to her to devour her. However, the sign of the cross that she made saved her. On the way to the execution she prayed for her persecutors, those who would turn to her in the future, but above all for pregnant women and women in labor. That is why she is also considered one of the fourteen emergency helpers .
Another source describes it as being devoured by a dragon. Thereupon she hits the sign of the cross and thus lets the monster burst. Because she had escaped unscathed from the dragon's body, she was considered the patroness of the pregnant woman.


Joan of Arc names Margareta as one of the voices who directed her. She counts, together with the hll. Barbara and Katharina , among the 14 helpers in need, with the addition of St. Dorothea they form the group of the Virgines capitales , the important virgins.

Remembrance day

Your Memorial Day is in the Catholic Church , the Protestant and the Anglican of July 20 , in the Orthodox of the 17th July . July 13th is also found in old calendars. It is the day the farmers used to start harvesting.


St. Margareta is the patron saint of farmers, during pregnancy and childbirth, virgins, wet nurses and those giving birth. She is invoked against sterility , wounds and facial diseases and for protection “against fiends from the depths of the water”.

From Hans Finks Die Kirchenpatrozinien Tirol it emerges that the oldest St. Margaretha Church was consecrated in Schlitz around 812 and that 22 branch churches and four chapels were given their patronage . In Lower Austria , the parish churches of St. Margarethen an der Sierning , Fels am Wagram , Ardagger Abbey and Mühldorf-Niederranna are consecrated to St. Margaret. In Upper Austria , St. Margareta Patroness of the parish church Lembach in the Mühlkreis , in Carinthia the parish church Lieding . The parish church Bad Mitterndorf is a patronage in Styria .

In Germany , the Carolingian Justinuskirche in Frankfurt-Höchst has been St. Dedicated to Margareta. Medieval Margaret chapels can be found in Dortmund , Porta Westfalica , Muggensturm , Herbolzheim and Holzingen , for example . In Bebelsheim in the Saarland , St. Margareta Church patron saint in 1809, after 40 young women had died there within 15 years after giving birth to their child. In the Sauerland Ennest , St. Margaret is the local and church patroness as well as the patroness of the local rifle club St. Margareta. The Ennester Schützenfest takes place annually on the 3rd weekend in July together with the patronage festival of the parish.


In Christian iconography there have been representations of Margaretas since the 10th century (in the east) and 12th century (in the west, for example in the Cathedral of Tournai ). Margaretha is often represented - as on the altar of grace in Vierzehnheiligen - with a dragon as an iconographic attribute of saints . Another attribute is a small cross.

St. Margarethen Chapel in Muggensturm (Baden)

There are depictions of St. Margaret by Hugo van der Goes (Portinari altar, around 1475, Uffizi , Florence ), Raphael (1518, Paris , Louvre ) and Titian (1550/52, Real Sitio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial ). On a house facade (15th century) on the Venetian Campo Santa Margherita is a sculpture of the saint with a dragon at her feet. On the Gothic panel painting ( Ivo Strigel ) of the St. George's Chapel in Meierhof Obersaxen, Margareta carries the dragon in her arms, and in Surin she leads him on a leash by a Renaissance statuette. On the painting of the Arnolfini wedding by Jan van Eyck , St. Margareta as a small wooden figure on the bedpost.

Caminada documented the Romansh Margaretha Song ( Canzun de Sontga Margriata , "Song of the Saint Margaret") controlled by the farmers 150 years ago Raetia was sung during the fieldwork.

A detailed representation of the martyrdom of St. Margaret is preserved in the stave church at Torpo on the wooden vault from the end of the 12th century.


Web links

Commons : Margaret of Antioch  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Julia Ricker: Escape the Dragon. The pulpit curtain of St. Andreas in Lutherstadt Eisleben. In: Monuments . Vol. 27, No. 5, 2017, pp. 16–19, here p. 17, left column in the middle.
  2. Margaret Chapel | Vacation country Baden-Wuerttemberg . In: Tourismus BW . ( [accessed on October 13, 2018]).