Although some people consider her to be the lovely princess rescued by
St. George, she has her own legend which is not at all related to that of the
knight or of St. Martha. Margaret did not rescue anybody or anything - not even
herself. But by killing the dragon she defeated the devil.
Margaret was born in Antiochia as the only daughter of a priest of the ancient
gods. Her mother died soon. She was brought up by a woman some 15 kilometers
apart from her father, where she got in contact with Christianity and converted
to this new religion. Her father was very upset and tried to convince her to
quit that - as he would put it - idolatry. But in vain. Thus as a punishment he
forced her to tend pigs.
At that time Olybrius, governor of Antiochia, saw Margaret and at once
fell in love with the beautiful christian virgin. As she resisted to marry
him, he tortured her with iron combs and burned her with torches. But she
still considered The Lord to be her only bride-groom. In prison the devil
himself tempted her, first as a charming young man, later as a fierce
dragon who threatened to devour her. But Margaret prayed to The Lord and
killed the dragon by making the sign of the cross over him. But this did
not save her: Olybrius got tired of that stubborn virgin, and beheaded
Weilen sie aber sich auf keine Weise wollte bewegen lassen, auch alles
Drohen der Marter nicht achtete, wurde sie mit Ruthen gestrichen, und als
sie dieses nicht fühlte, mit eisernen Zacken oder Spitzen geritzt, da ihr
denn auch der Teufel in Gestalt eines Drachen im Gefängnis erschien darein
man sie geführet hatte, welchen sie aber durch das Zeichen des Creutzes
Zedler, Universal=Encyclopaedie, vol. 19 (1739).
Bock, E. (1922): Die Deutsche Graphik. - 354 p., München (Franz Hanfstaengel).
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