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A statue of Margaret of Castello at St. Patrick Church in Columbus, OhioWikimedia

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April 29, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – It was hardly a fast track, but 14th century St. Margaret of Castello – who was beatified in 1609 – was elevated to sainthood by Pope Francis on April 24 using a process called “equipollent canonization.”

The Arlington Catholic Herald explained exactly what that means:

“The decree is what the Vatican terms an ‘equipollent’ or equivalent canonization; when there is evidence of strong devotion among the faithful to a holy man or woman, the pope can waive a lengthy formal canonical investigation and can authorize the person's veneration as a saint.”

I’m not sure why the Vatican chose to do it this way, since her intercession is said to have prompted many miracles, but I’m very happy for St. Margaret of Castello, patron saint of the unwanted. For decades, we at Priests for Life have certainly promoted devotion to her and spread the story of her life everywhere.

That story is almost too hard to contemplate. Born around 1287 blind, lame and apparently with dwarfism, her socially prominent parents, who had wanted a boy, were horrified thinking word would get out that their baby was less than perfect. They spread the lie that she had died at birth.

They gave her to a servant who loved and cared for her, but the servant slipped up once and almost let guests at her parents’ castle catch a glimpse of Margaret. To ensure that never happened again, her father, filled with the arrogance that marks the culture of death, had a single-room cell built next to a church in the forest and walled her into it. An interior window allowed Margaret to hear Mass; another window on an exterior wall let servants pass food into the girl. 

The priest there discovered Margaret had a fine mind and loved God, so he spent time teaching her the faith. When her family fled from their home when she was a teenager, they took Margaret with them, only to lock her away in an underground vault near their new home. 

A year later, her parents brought her to a tomb in Castello where people were said to be receiving miraculous cures of various ailments. When Margaret was not healed, her parents just abandoned her there. Two beggars befriended her and ultimately Margaret’s life began to improve, although with many setbacks along the way. 

She died at the age of 33 on April 13, 1320, after having served for years in the habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic. It has been reported that the whole city attended her funeral – that was how well-known and beloved she had become – and that a crippled girl was healed during the Mass.

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PETITION: Tell Vatican to CANCEL 'Health' conference packed with pro-abort, secularist speakers
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The Vatican has announced its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul," to take place between May 6-8, and nearly everything about the conference is rotten -- morally, scientifically and culturally.

Incredibly, the conference organizers have listed huge numbers of globalist and abortion-promoting speakers such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccine developers, Mormon elders, pro-abortion Chelsea Clinton, population control advocate Jane Goodall, a New Age activist, a prominent UK Muslim scholar, and pro-abortion American actress Cindy Crawford, among others.

The logo for the conference is a circle of people linking hands, colored in the tones of the LGBT rainbow flag, and positioned next to the crossed keys and Papal tiara of the Pontiff. In the ten goals listed for the conference, the Pontifical Council for Culture makes no reference to God or the Catholic Church.

The organization and promotion of this conference is beyond an outrage, it is a closer to a sacrilege (also outrageous!).

Indeed, of the conference, Archbishop Viganò has said that the Holy See is "making itself the servant of the New World Order." [More below about Arbp Viganò's reaction to the conference...]

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition urging the Vatican to CANCEL this desperately wrong-headed appeasement to the secular world disguised as a "health conference."

114 speakers are set to appear at the event, including prominent and diverse names such as:

  • The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna, the former of which produces abortion pills;
  • The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, who advocates using fetal tissue in research projects;
  • Chelsea Clinton, a strong advocate for abotion;
  • The head of Google Health, David Feinberg;
  • And, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose advice to government officials played a major role in shutting down American churches last year.

These "VIP" speakers are also joined at the Vatican conference by the following: United Nations representative and conservationist Jane Goodall, who supports population control; new age activist Deepak Chopra; rock guitarist Joe Perry; Mormon Elder William K. Jackson; executive chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf; pro-abortion model Cindy Crawford; and, by Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, who has firmly aligned himself with the globalist, liberal elite, by censoring conservative voices on his platform.

The sheer number of speakers holding anti-Catholic views has sparked a firestorm of well-deserved criticism.

And, in an letter published by LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò roundly condemns this conference and, moreover, the infidelity to the Church's perennial teaching. Here is a brief excerpt (read the whole letter by clicking on this link):

"...The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium.

The same Roman Dicasteries, occupied by people ideologically aligned with Jorge Mario Bergoglio [i.e. Pope Francis] and protected and promoted by him, now continue unrestrained in their implacable work of demolishing Faith, Morals, ecclesiastical discipline, and monastic and religious life, in an effort as vain as it is unprecedented to transform the Bride of Christ into a philanthropic association enslaved to the Strong Powers.

The result is the super-imposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved Modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry, and any perversion of the intellect and will. The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very Pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest Throne."

The fact that there is so much anti-Catholicism (i.e., anti-truth) held by so many of the speakers makes it impossible to ask for the organizers to simply disinvite disreputable speakers.

That is why we are urging the Vatican to CANCEL this anti-life, anti-truth, anti-Catholic, anti-health "health conference" altogether!

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the Vatican to CANCEL its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul."

This conference contains such a high concentration of poison for the Faith and the faithful that is should be canceled, not only for the contents itself, but also for the grave scandal it will (and is, already) cause.

After SIGNING and SHARING, please take a minute to contact the following Church authorities to politely, but firmly, voice your dismay and displeasure at the anti-God, anti-life and anti-faith conference which the Vatican has scheduled for the beginning of May.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi - Head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture

Email: [email protected]

Phone: [+39] 06 6989 3811

His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre - Papal Nuncio for the United States

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 202-333-7121


'Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’' -

'Vatican hosting Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, Pfizer CEO, Big Tech oligarchs at ‘health’ conference' -


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St. Margaret’s life offers many profound lessons for those of us in pro-life. She disappointed her parents twice at her birth, by being female and for failing to be perfect. Today, both of those things can prompt parents to choose abortion. The world is missing millions of girls because of this preference for sons in so many cultures.

Also, she was unwanted by the very people who were supposed to love and care for her, in much the same way the unborn are unwanted by those who have envisioned a different timeline for their lives.

St. Margaret’s profound physical ailments teach a powerful lesson about how every life – no matter how compromised, no matter how “imperfect” – has value and every person has a contribution to make.

And the question that challenges us most deeply is: If we were there, and knew Margaret was locked up in that cell, would we have spoken up?

St. Margaret’s canonization comes at an interesting time in the U.S., as more states are passing laws to protect babies from abortion based on their sex, race, or disability. Prenatal testing now allows parents to know long before their baby is born if he or she will be everything they have dreamed of and planned for. Babies falling short of that ideal – like those with Down syndrome or dwarfism – are frequently aborted.  

I invite everyone who believes in the sanctity of every human life to join me in praying this prayer I wrote some years ago for Margaret of Castello, the newest saint for the pro-life movement.

Your care extends to every human person,
No matter what afflictions they suffer,
And you uphold the dignity of every human life,
Regardless of the false ways that the world may calculate its value.
You gave us St. Margaret of Castello as a sign and a challenge.
You permitted your glory to shine through her human weakness,
And called those around her to love her
Despite her physical limitations.
Forgive us when we fail to defend the least among us.
Through the intercession of St. Margaret,
Give us grace to speak up for the outcast
and to welcome those who are rejected.
When this brief life is over,
Grant that we who have welcomed all our brothers and sisters,
May be welcomed by you into the life that never ends.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Father Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests for Life.


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