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Catholic Life | Tag Archive | Married Saints
Tag Archives: Married Saints

Saintly Marriage

Whenever I read about married Saints I seem to uncover the fact that they did not have “normal” marriages. Since many of my readers are under the impression that celibate marriage is not good, I assume that you must know of married Saints who had “normal” sexual relationships. I have never read the books on married Saints, so I would love your help in finding them.

“Normal” Married Saints

I’ll start the list off with Elizabeth of Hungary. We know that she had children, and that she sought to detach herself interiorly from her husband, but that he would not agree to celibacy so they had a “normal” marital relationship (if you call her staying up all night praying normal) until God conveniently killed him off his death in the crusades. She then embraced celibacy.

Then there is Saint Gianna who had four children in five years and died for the sake of the last.

Thomas More was married twice and I know of no evidence that he was ever celibate in marriage.

Elizabeth of Portugal had children and appears to have had as normal of a marriage as one can have with a jealous licentious husband.

Rita of Cascia is somewhat similar in having two sons with her abusive husband and joyfully embracing celibacy after his death.

Margaret of Scotland is said to have at first refused marriage due to desire to remain a virgin, but eventually consented and bore eight children.

Bridget of Sweden also had eight children, and embraced celibacy only after her husband’s death.

Stephen of Hungary had a son, but I don’t know much else about him other than that he lived in a context where celibacy was not taken seriously by anyone, even priests/bishops.

Something that stands out to me in this list is that it seems that most either suffered a heroic death/martyrdom or else had a less-than-holy spouse who probably was not up for the challenge of chastity, let alone celibacy.

Not so “Normal”

Catherine of Genoa
Francis of Rome
Edward the Confessor
Cecilia
Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini
Henry II
Louis Martin and Marie Guerin (we are all glad renounced their celibacy, but it would be silly to ignore it)
Catherine of Sweden

Elizabeth Ann Seton, Jane Francis de Chantal etc. don’t count because it is highly unlikely that they would have been canonized if their husbands hadn’t died and freed them to embrace, guess what, a celibate life.

What other Saints can you think of who we know were married and never embraced celibacy in marriage?

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