|A page from Celtic Christmas Music|
Born in London to Irish parents little Margaret Mary exhibited an enthusiastic love of the traditions of the faith early on. It is a Celtic Christmas tradition for the youngest in the family to light a large candle on Christmas Eve that could only be snuffed by a girl with the name of Mary. This special privilege was Margaret Mary’s favorite childhood memory. Her mother encouraged a warm devotion to the Blessed Mother in Margaret as a child but when she became too zealous in her prostrations and other demonstrations of piety, her mother tried to temper her with the scolding, “little saints make big sinners.” But her home life was soon disrupted by misfortune and sickness. Margaret lost her father to consumption when she was four years old. Her mother fell into dire straits and sent little Margaret Mary to an orphanage where she was educated for three years. Soon after her mother died. So, by the time she was nine years old, having lost both parents, Margaret began a life of service.
Drane, Augusta Theodosia (Mother Francis Raphael), Life of Mother Margaret Mary Hallahan: Foundress of the English Congregation of St. Catherine of Siena of the Third Order of St. Dominic, Longmans, Green and Co., New York, New York, 1929, p. 2