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Margaret Sinclair sainthood cause ‘making progress’ ahead of annual pilgrimage

By Colette Cooper

The sainthood cause of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair is ‘making progress’ the priest of her home parish has said as Catholics prepare for this year’s pilgrimage in honour of the Poor Clares nun.

This year’s Margaret Pilgrimage will be held on Sunday September 8 at St Patrick’s Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh.

The event will open at 2pm, followed by a presentation on the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, Holy Mass and close at 5.30pm.

St Patrick’s parish priest Fr Philip Kerr said the pilgrimage has ‘taken place for many years to promote the cause of Margaret Sinclair.’

He added that Margaret Sinclair was a parishioner at St Patrick’s and, since her death, there have been ‘gatherings of people to pray around her tomb.’

After Margaret Sinclair’s body was moved to St Patrick’s Church, it became a focus point for pilgrims, Fr Kerr said.

Margaret Sinclair was born in Middle Arthur Place, Edinburgh, 1900 in a basement flat. She was one of six children and her father, Andrew, was a dustman for Edinburgh City Corporation.

She attended St Anne’s school and when she left her education, she worked as an apprentice French polisher in the Waverley Cabinet Works in 1914 to 1918.

Margaret eventually joined the Little Sisters of the Poor, as she felt called to spend her life in solitude and prayer. She died of tuberculosis in 1925.

Pope Pius XII introduced the cause for her canonisation in 1942 and St Pope Paul VI declared her venerable in 1978.

Margaret’s life, not only as a nun but ‘as a lay person,’ was significant, Fr Kerr said.

“[She was a] Sister for three years and had a reputation for holiness. She was seen as a witness to Christian principals,” he said.

Margaret’s journey to Sainthood is something that can ‘only be judged by the eyes of God,’ Father Kerr added.

“There are countless people who claim her favour—she has been declared venerable, so we are making progress, that’s the main thing,” he said.

The pilgrimage this Sunday will involve ‘several hundred people’ gathering at St Patrick’s.

During a visit to Scotland in 1982, St Pope John Paul II said: ‘Margaret could well be described as one of God’s little ones, who through her very simplicity, was touched by God with the strength of real holiness of life, whether as a child, a young woman, an apprentice, a factory worker, a member of a trade union or a professed sister of religion.’

– The Margaret Sinclair pilgrimage takes place at St Patrick’s Cowgate, Edinburgh from 2pm on Sunday September 8

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