Today, the feast day of St. Margaret of Hungary, we begin a week of prayer dedicated to Christian unity.
St. Margaret of Hungary was a Dominican nun of the 13th century. Her royal parents offered her to God in thanksgiving for victory over their invading enemies. The only connection between Margaret and church unity is that her feast happens to begin the week of prayer for this intention; still, we can't resist mentioning her as she is one of the few Dominican nuns who have been canonized!
But another nun, a Cistercian from Italy, is invoked in a particular way this week for special prayers. Her name is Blessed Gabriella and she is the patroness of church unity. She offered her life for this intention and we pray that she will continue to intercede for unity among the churches today. "Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one." (John 17:11)