In today’s super feminist culture, we love to admire and affirm the success of powerful women, from the brilliant company executive to the inspiring adventures of Wonder Woman as she saves mankind with her goodness and supernatural strength.
But when it comes to finding a woman to inspire us in the spiritual fight between good and evil, who are the women we turn to? Sure, there some that come to mind. I’m inspired by Mother Theresa’s lasting legacy that started with just loving one person at a time. Or St. Joan of Arc, who fought for righteousness until her burning-at-the-stake death.
But yet, there’s another young woman whose fight for righteousness inspires me with a vision of the passionate warrior kind of woman I want to be for Jesus.
I’m speaking of St. Margaret of Antioch, who lived sometime around the 3rd century. Margaret experienced persecution for her Christian faith and refused to give in to the demands of those around her who tried to force her to renounce her faith and worship pagan idols.
But many saints and martyrs suffered torture for the sake of Christ, you might say. What’s different about St. Margaret? Well, maybe not that much – but it does seem like she endured and persevered through so many gruesome things!
For one, she was kicked out by her father for not renouncing Christianity. Okay, you might say. A lot of saints were persecuted by those closest to them for Christ.
Let’s keep going.
St. Margaret’s beauty caught the gaze of a powerful man who fell in love with her and wanted to wed her. That wasn’t going to happen, as St. Margaret had taken a vow of celibacy.
Nonetheless, the gentleman persisted, and not always kindly.
The man is said to have tested Margaret using the most inhumane means, including being scourged, torn with iron combs, cast into icy water, and having her body burned with lighted torches. Miraculously, Margaret’s body emerged out of all these trials unscathed.
These aren’t even the most impressive or interesting facts about Margaret. Legend has it that during her trials, Satan appeared to her in the form of a dragon. The story goes that the dragon swallowed her whole, but when Margaret was in the dragon’s belly, she was wearing a cross that began to irritate the stomach of the dragon, a cross that Margaret eventually used to cut herself free of the dragon’s belly!
Well, yes, I know that seems like quite a fanciful story – BUT – I’ll let you chew on that one to determine if you think it’s legit. Whether the story happened just like that or not, St. Margaret is one kind of diva saint that I want to be like. She kept saying “yes” to God, no matter the cost.
I’m inspired by this because I want to be someone who never says “no” to God. This isn’t always easy, but it’s something worth striving for. The more I’m able to give my complete “yes” to God, all the time, the more He can use my story as a blessing for others. It seems like we can be so afraid to give God our “yes” because we’re afraid of what He might take away. However, the more we give God our “yes,” the bigger and more beautiful kinds of adventure He throws our way! Adventures where our stories live on through the test of time, where others can listen to the miraculous ways God worked in our lives. Stories that can inspire others to follow God with all they have and are, so that God can work great things through their lives, and through them, in the generations to follow.
So, friends, this cool wonder-woman kind of saint is worth inviting into your life.
St. Margaret of Antioch, pray for us, and help us follow Jesus with a mighty endurance!