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Blessed Margaret of Savoy

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Marchioness of Montferrat, born at Pignerol in 1382; died at Alba, 23 November, 1464. She was the only daughter of Louis of Savoy, Prince of Achaia, and of Bonne, daughter of Amadeus VI, Count of Savoy, and was given in marriage in 1403 to Theodore, Marquis of Montferrat, a descendant of the Greek emperors, the Palæologi, and widower of Jeanne, daughter of the duke of Bar and of Lorraine. Her piety, already great, increased after she had heard the preaching of St. Vincent Ferrer, who spent several months in Montferrat. Therefore, when she was left a widow in 1418, she decided to abandon the world. Leaving the direction of the affairs of the marquisate to Jean-Jacques, the son of her husband by his first marriage, she retired to Alba where she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic. A little later, Philip Maria, duke of Milan, asked her hand in marriage and begged the pope to relieve her of her vow. But Margaret opposed a formal refusal to this request and thoroughly resolved to give herself entirely to God : with several young women of rank, she founded a monastery and placed it under the rule of the order of St. Dominic. Redoubling her mortifications she made rapid progress in the way of perfection and died in a saintly manner. On 13 December, 1464, her remains were placed in a simple tomb ; in 1481 they were transferred to a different and much more beautiful sepulchre built in her monastery at the expense of William, Marquis of Montferrat.

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