20 July – St Margaret (or Marina) of Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvaç)

On 20 July the church celebrates the life of St Margaret of Antioch.  She is also known as St Marina.  She lived in Antioch in Pisidia which is now near the town of Yalvaç in the province of Isparta.  St Margaret was probably martyred in the year 270. 

She lived during the reign of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor.  During the trials and tribulations she experienced she was apparently swallowed by a dragon whose stomach opened and she was able to escape unharmed.  Her story is now regarded as fictitious, however she had a strong following in the Middle Ages.  Her voice was among those attested to have been heard by St Joan of Arc.  A representation of St Margaret is shown to the left.  Her designation as Patron saint of expectant mothers (especially those in difficult labour) comes from her experience of breaking free from the stomach of the dragon who swallowed her.  Copyright©2019 Rev Ros Wilkinson