Blessseds QuattrocchiWith the recent canonization of the parents of Saint Thérèse, Zelie and Louis Martin, more light has been shed on models of sanctity who lived their vocations in the married state. Historically, it seems, (at least in the modern period) that the first married couple to be beatified together are Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi in 2001. Beatified together or not, the heroic sanctity of the Quattrocchis and the Martins serve as great models for us today.

Since they died at different times the liturgical memorial is located on the calendar for today, the day on which Luigi and Maria were married in 1905 in the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome.

Luigi was a lawyer and a civil servant; he died in 1951 at the age of 71; Maria, dedicated herself to her family and to several charitable and social Catholic movements; she died in 1965 at the age of 81.  José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said at the time, Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi “made a true domestic church of their family, which was open to life, to prayer, to the social apostolate, to solidarity with the poor and to friendship.”

Their lives were lived in the purity of heart extroverted in acts of charity, frequent praying of the holy rosary and the family consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, monthly holy hour first Friday and weekend retreats organized by the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Paul-outside-the-Walls. They respected the life of the mind, too.

On 25 November 1994, the cause for Beatification for Maria and Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi was opened and, on 21 October 2001, John Paul II beatified them. He had a special concern for providing contemporary saints for the Church today (read the Pope’s homily linked above). On 28 October 2001, the relics of Luigi and Maria were transferred to their crypt in the Shrine of Divino Amore (Divine Love) at Rome.