Margaret Of Città Di Castello

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Italy, 1287–1320


She was born blind, a hunchback, a dwarf who could barely walk. Her aristocratic parents had hoped for a son; ashamed, they kept her hidden in a locked room. At sixteen, she was secretly taken to a church in another town where miracles had occurred. There was no miracle, and her parents left her on the steps. A poor family found her and took her in. She was kind and wise and helped the local children. She joined a convent, but the nuns were cruel to her and she returned to the poor. Another convent invited her and she remained. At her death at thirty-three, they dissected her heart and found three pearls.


Eliot Weinberger is a writer, editor, and translator. Angels & Saints is forthcoming from Christine Burgin and New Directions.

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