This article accompanies the fable
Voices and Saints
What Became of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?
Saint Margaret became most popular in England where there are many churches in her name. In 1880 Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) even composed an oratorio, The Martyr of Antioch, dedicated to her. It is regarded as rather unexciting, perhaps because he eliminated the dragon, which is the best part of the story.
These saints had only caught on because they served as expressions of the people’s desire for magical heroes and heroines: healers and miracle-workers. The Catholic Church never particularly liked them and, once again, it was the men who got rid of them, just as they got rid of Joan. They kept Saint Michael.
Most of the original fortified St. Catherine's Monastery shown here was built during the time of the Byzantine emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora, in the 6th century.
Lower photo: LorisRomito