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“If only you knew what was in my heart!”
So exclaimed Saint Margaret of Castello (1287-1320) many times throughout her life as a Dominican tertiary. Only after her death was this saying of hers elevated to supernatural stature: her autopsy revealed, embedded in her heart, three miniature pearls upon which were engraved images of Christ, the Blessed Mother, and Saint Joseph.
An integral member of her community in Castello, Italy; a fearless catechist, prophet, and minister to prisoners; a woman born with blindness and a physical disability; a newly canonized Saint: Who was this extraordinary woman with pearls in her heart?
Join the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and the Institute for Human Ecology on 11 November 2021 for our virtual panel discussion, “In My Heart: The Life of Saint Margaret of Castello.”
Panelists will discuss Saint Margaret’s life and legacy, her experience of disability in the Body of Christ, and how devotion to her can shape and challenge our understanding of the universal call to holiness.
Fr. Bernard Timothy is a Dominican priest of the Province of St. Joseph. He currently serves as pastor of St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville, KY, where a shrine to St. Margaret of Castello is dedicated. Fr. Bernard was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and met the Dominicans when he was studying at the State University of New York in Buffalo, NY. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2013.
Sister Theresa Paul, O.P., is a Dominican Sister of the Mary Immaculate Province in Houston, Texas. She serves as a catechetical leader in the Diocese of Fort Worth. Sister recently wrote an NCPD blog post where she discusses contracting polio at a young age. She reflects on the life of Saint Margaret from this perspective.
Sister Kathleen Schipani, who is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is Director of the Office for Persons with Disabilities and the Deaf Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Sister Schipiani is the past chair of the board of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and the National Catholic Office for the Deaf. (CNS photo/courtesy Sister Kathleen Schipani)