Launch of the 2016 St Margaret's Summer Pilgrimage

This year's St Margaret's Summer Pilgrimage in Fife has been announced.

Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 11:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th May 2016, 12:07 pm
St Margaret of Scotland ( played by Fife actress Katie Milne) helped unveil the publicity poster at St Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh. Picture Ian Rutherford

The event was launched by Archbishop Leo Cushley at St Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh as he unveiled a poster to advertise the Summer Pilgrimage which is taking place in Dunfermline on Sunday, June 12.

He was joined by Fife actress Katie Milne (30) who was dressed as St Margaret.

Archbishop Cushley said: “The summer pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret should be a fantastic family day – that’s why we want to extend the invitation to take part as far and wide as possible.

“St Margaret is such a remarkable historical figure in Scotland’s story as well as a fabulous role model for young Scots today – especially young women.”

The roots of the summer pilgrimage dates back to June 1250 when the relics of Saint Margaret were translated to a new shrine in Dunfermline Abbey following her canonisation that year by Pope Innocent IV.

An annual summer pilgrimage to Dunfermline soon emerged becoming a celebrated fixture within Scottish national life until the late 16th century. It was then re-established in 1899 and continued again until 1974. Last year saw the pilgrimage revived after an absence 41 years.

“Last year’s event was a tremendous success with numbers attending far in excess to expectations and everybody having an enormously enjoyable day – this year should prove to be even better,” added the Archbishop.

The revived summer pilgrimage is the initiative of the local Catholic parish in Dunfermline, St Margaret’s Memorial Church.

In 2015, they invited parishes within the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh to attend. Following the success of last year’s event, this year they are extending the invitation to all the Catholic parishes in Scotland – 452 parishes in total – in co-operation with the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

“This will be a real family event to which everybody in Scotland – not just Catholics – are invited given that St Margaret is an inspirational figure for all Scots as well as a heavenly protectress of the people of our land,” said Fr Chris Heenan, Parish Priest of St Margaret’s Memorial Church.

St Margaret became Queen of Scots in 1070. She was renowned for her good influence on her husband, King Malcolm III, but also for her devout Christian piety, her charitable works towards the sick and poor while raising eight children of her own. She is credited with encouraging the observance of Sunday as a day of rest. Saint Margaret was declared Patroness of Scotland in 1673.