How beautiful in splendor is the chaste generation! Immortal is its memory because it is acknowledged both by God and by men.


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Heavenly Father, You have given us Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina as shining examples of virtue in holy wedded life. As we venerate their pious achievements on earth, so may we arrive at blessed fellowship with them in heaven.

Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina are one of the very few married couples recognized by the Church for sainted holiness; they certainly are the only husband and wife team raised to the altar who were members of the Third Order Franciscans (today we say they are Secular Franciscans). As Third Order Franciscans, Saint Elzéar and Blessed Delphina observed a life of penance and obligation to pray the Divine Office. Their married life was characterized as resolutely chaste as they both vowed perpetual virginity, proving that marriage is more than sexual expression.

Dedicated to the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the hagiographies indicate that each night 12 poor people dined with them. Saint Elzéar was religiously devoted and cared for the poor; known to be modest and generous; conforming himself to Christ he bore insults cheerfully. It was reported that he cured several people from leprosy. Delphina, together with her husband, cared for the poor and the sick; after Elzéar’s death she disposed of her wealth and is remembered for faithfully following Christ and thus living a moral life. One such example of living a morally upright life is her influence in converting the king of Sicily’s court to Christ.

Elzéar was canonized in 1369 by his godchild Pope Urban V (of whom he said would be the supreme pontiff) and Delphina was beatified in 1694 by Pope Innocent XII.