What’s sainthood got to do with National Marriage Week this Feb. 7-14 and World Marriage Day on Feb. 9?
Married couples should become saints.
The parents of St. Thérèse exemplify this holy calling.
On Oct. 18, 2015, Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin were the first married couple canonized together.
In their earthly lives, he was a watchmaker, she a lace-maker. They had nine children.
Another married couple, Blessed Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi, became the first married couple to be beatified together on Oct. 21, 2001. At the ceremony St. John Paul II said, “Dear families, today we have distinctive confirmation that the path of holiness lived together as a couple is possible, beautiful, extraordinarily fruitful and fundamental for the good of the family, the Church and society.”
At the time, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints said the Quattrocchis “made their family an authentic domestic church.” As did the Martins.
Five of Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s daughters entered religious life, having lived in a domestic church built on the sturdiest foundation of the love for God and each other. Their faith permeated everything in conjugal and family life.
While both first wanted to enter religious life, God had other plans. Three months after they met, they married. They commended their love and lives to God’s protection and determined to serve him first in their middle-class life in 19th-century France. The Martins went to daily Mass and confession regularly, and they practiced the works of mercy and charity, continuously and discreetly, helping needy families and the sick.
When Zélie died from cancer, Louis cared for their five daughters (their other four children died very early in life). After suffering serious illness for five years, he died in 1894.
Father Antonio Sangalli, vice postulator for their cause, said, “Louis and Zelie demonstrated through their lives that conjugal love is an instrument of holiness, a way to holiness consummated by the two persons together.”
Mr. and Mrs. Quattrocchi were married for 50 years and had four children, three of whom entered religious life. He was a lawyer and eventually became attorney general of Italy. She eventually became a professor and tireless volunteer in several organizations. “This couple lived married love and service to life in the light of the Gospel and with great human intensity,” St. John Paul II said. “[T]hey assumed the task of collaborating with God in procreation, dedicating themselves generously to their children, to teach them, guide them and direct them to discovering his plan of love.”
He added, “Drawing on the word of God and the witness of the saints, the blessed couple lived an ordinary life in an extraordinary way. Among the joys and anxieties of a normal family, they knew how to live an extraordinarily rich spiritual life.” The went to daily Mass, were devoted to the Blessed Mother, and prayed the Rosary together every evening.
Their two priest sons concelebrated their parents’ beatification Mass with John Paul II.
Read more at National Catholic Register