Sometime in her teens, Margaret's parents heard about miraculous cures performed at the tomb of St. Francis. I imagine it is asking a lot, even of Saint Francis, to mend a blind, lame, hunchbacked dwarf. He probably could have, but it would have cheated all the kind, deserving folks who later found her to be a blessing in their lives. Then again, maybe he was just stalling to put the parents to a test of faith. If so, they failed because -- and here, you've got to picture it -- they just crept away quietly while she knelt in prayer. Since she was blind, she couldn't even have followed them once she discovered she had been abandoned. Harsh, right? That's why she's the patron of the disabled and of unwanted persons.
|Margaret's body is still laid out in Italy|
Those same nice families welcomed her back. She was accepted by the Dominicans as a tertiary (someone affiliated to an order, but without the formal vows), performing some miraculous feats.
- A wrongly accused prisoner named Alonzo was tortured by prosecutors until he was permanently crippled. His family suffered dire deprivation while he was in prison. When Alonzo learned that his son died, he began to bitterly curse God. Margaret heard about this, and while she prayed in response, she levitated two feet in the air and stayed there, her face glowing with divine light. Then she asked Alonzo not to blaspheme anymore. He tried to curse her and her God, but stammered, and then to his own surprise, said "Little Margaret, please pray for me."
- When a fire broke out in the house where she was staying, the folks downstairs shouted for her to hurry down before she was trapped and killed. Instead, she calmly came to the stairs, threw down her cloak, and instructed that folks place it over the fire. They extinguished the fire with the cloak. That's a little less miraculous than levitating, but it's still pretty boss.
- There are about 200 post-mortem miracles attributed to her, but none more unusual than the story of her heart. She commented once to a Dominican friar, "If you only knew what is in my heart." It's a little cryptic, which explains his curiosity. But even if he was curious, I can't fathom why he and his brothers chose to open her chest and dissect her heart after she had died. Good thing though. In it, they found three pearls, each with a holy image engraved on it -- one of Jesus, another of the BVM, and a third of Saint Joseph.