St Margarets                                     ACNCChristos

Saint Margarets strategy to help address homelessness by:


  • Providing safe, secure medium term accommodation

  • Providing case management and ongoing counselling

  • Providing employment mentoring and job locating

  • Providing platform from which to re-establish independent living


Chart Graphics St Bs 3

Building from a solid foundation



Participating in social enterprise activities provides income, vocational training and employment opportunities


The Foundation is governed by a committed, passionate and skilled board, whose members ensure the organisation operates from a strong corporate governance and management base. Saint Margarets is registered with the Australian Government’s Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) and as such complies with all ACNC governance standards requirements and is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a Not for Profit organisation enabling Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status for tax deductibility for donations made to the Foundation.

Saint Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297)
Patron Saint of Homeless Women

Saint Benedict image


Margaret was born of farming parents in Laviano, Italy (south east of Naples). Margaret had a troubled home life. Margaret’s father remarried after the passing of her mother when she was 7.

Stepmother and stepdaughter did not like each other and never got along. She spent more and more time away from home in the local village where she met Arsenio, the son of the local baron and ran away with him to his castle when she was 17.

The couple lived together for 9 years, near Montepulciano, during which time gave birth to a son. Arsenio never married Margaret. Tragedy struck, when Margaret discovered Arsenio’s murdered body in the nearby forest.

This was her darkest hour and was the moment she found strength in Jesus. She and her son went to the Franciscan friars at Cortona and lived with two Christian sisters. Two priests were assigned as her spiritual advisors and the friars arranged for her son to study at the nearby academy, eventually becoming a friar.

In 1277, after three years of probation, Margaret joined the Third Order of Saint Francis and began to care for the poor and pursued a life of prayer and penance.

At Cortona she established a hospital for the sick, homeless and impoverished. To secure nurses for the hospital, she instituted a congregation of Tertiary Sisters, known as the le poverelle (the little poor ones). She also established an order devoted to Our Lady of Mercy and the members bound themselves to support the hospital and help the needy.

She moved to live in the ruins of the church of Basil of Caesarea and spent her remaining years there. After her death in 1297, the church was rebuilt in her honour as the Church of Santa Margherita. Although undergoing several reconstructions the church (now a Basilica) with her entombed body is still in use today. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in May 1728.

  about us

Hope for those who have lost it