For couples living out their vocation in marriage, tough times will come and go. When things get particularly difficult, it is essential to turn to God in prayer for strength. It can also be helpful to look to those who have gone before us. Here are five examples of holy marriage lived out by saints. We can pray to them for help when our marriage faces challenges.
Saints To Pray To During Tough Times In Marriage:
Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin
Although St. Louis lived for 17 years after his wife’s death, they were canonized together. In fact, they were the first married couple ever to be recognized as saints at the same time. This is because Blessed Pope Paul VI, in 1971, recognized that marriage was the key to this couple’s holiness and decided that their cause for canonization would be united into one. In 1994, Pope St. John Paul II beatified the couple together, and Pope Francis canonized them together in 2015.
“It was … providential that in the heart of Joseph, so great a love for Mary would be born. God placed it there so that, afterward, what he wanted would take place. It was indeed necessary for Joseph to love her deeply in order to be able to give up practically everything except her and to be happy respecting her intimacy with God. It is difficult to think of a love that is purer, more concerned, or more chaste.”
— Fr. Federico Suarez, Joseph of Nazareth
Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You persevered in pursuing your wayward son
Not with threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn to draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.
Dear St. Monica, troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your beloved husband, Patricius,
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St Monica,
that God may favorably hear my plea.
(mention your intention here)
Grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
— Novena Prayer to St. Monica, Patron Saint of Difficult Marriages
Mary, Mother of Fairest Love
Lord Jesus, grant that I and my spouse may have a true and understanding love for each other. Grant that we may both be filled with faith and trust. Give us the grace to live with each other in peace and harmony. May we always bear with one another's weaknesses and grow from each other's strengths. Help us to forgive one another's failings and grant us patience, kindness, cheerfulness, and the spirit of placing the well-being of one another ahead of self.
May the love that brought us together grow and mature with each passing year. Bring us both ever closer to You through our love for each other. Let our love grow to perfection.
— Prayer of Spouses for Each Other, Mary, Mother of Fairest Love Family Shrine
Sts. Aquila and Priscilla
Sts. Aquila and Priscilla were friends of St. Paul and they feature regularly in his writings. The couple is an example of faith in action through marriage. When St. Paul met them, Sts. Aquila and Priscilla lived in Corinth, possibly the most worldly city in the Roman Empire at the time. Living out one’s faith in ordinary life was exceptionally difficult, as it can be in our world today. However, these two saints held nothing back from God, looking after the preacher Apollos and acting as a solid support to the early Church with their tireless faith and devotion.
These saints are great examples of faith-filled marriages. Let us pray for their intercession in our own relationships and those around us!
Find more wisdom about Catholic family life at www.fairestloveshrine.org.