Matrimony (marriage) is one of the Catholic Church’s seven sacraments. A man and a woman vow to live together in mutual love and self-giving until the death of one of the spouses. God Himself is the author of marriage, as the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) teaches (48, § 1).
Marriage is “by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring” (Code of Canon Law, 1055, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church).
Marriage is a total commitment of the spouses to each other. Each spouse is to help the other get to Heaven! Marriage is one of the paths to holiness and Heaven. Married couples should have daily prayer together as they strive to live the vows they made before God on their wedding day. Prayer for marriage is essential.
Married life is not easy (if you’re not married, just ask a married couple!), but it is a beautiful road to Heaven.
Wisdom of the Church and the saints on the sacrament of marriage
“Authentic married love is caught up into divine love … so that this love may lead the spouses to God … and in God they find the strength to carry on their roles and responsibilities” (Gaudium et Spes, 48).
“The death of illusions is not the death of love. The great advantage of the vow is that it holds people together during this temporary stress and trial, in order to attain a more lasting love” (Venerable Fulton J. Sheen).
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day” (St. Gianna Molla).
“By their very nature, the institution of matrimony itself and conjugal love are ordained for the procreation and education of children, and find in them their ultimate crown” (Gaudium et Spes, 48).
“Mistrust and skepticism has led our culture to disregard the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, that covenant which deepens communion and safeguards the dignity of their uniqueness. When the stable and fruitful covenant between a man and a woman is devalued by society, it is a loss for everyone, especially the young” (Pope Francis).
“The union of man and woman in marriage [is] a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, communities, and whole societies” (Pope Francis).
“Spouses are therefore the permanent reminder to the Church of what happened on the Cross; they are for one another and for the children witnesses to the salvation in which the sacrament makes them sharers” (St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, #13).
“I wish to invoke the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth…it is therefore the prototype and example for all Christian families… St. Joseph was a ‘just man’…may he always guard, protect and enlighten families. May the Virgin Mary, who is the Mother of the Church, also be the Mother of ‘the Church of the home’… May Christ the Lord, the Universal King, the King of Families, be present in every Christian home as He was at Cana, bestowing light, joy, serenity, and strength” (St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, #86).
“He [Christ] abides with them…so that, just as He loved the Church and handed Himself over on her behalf, the spouses may love each other with perpetual fidelity through mutual self-bestowal” (Gaudium et Spes, 48).
There are many saints and blesseds throughout history who were married, and there are a number of couples as well who both are saints or blesseds! Here are a few of the couples who both are saints or blesseds:
Our Lady and St. Joseph
St. Joachim and St. Anne (parents of the Blessed Mother)
St. Louis and St. Zelie Martin (parents of St. Therese)
St. Isidore the Farmer and St. Maria de la Cabeza
St. Zachary and St. Elizabeth (parents of St. John the Baptist)
Bl. Luigi and Bl. Maria Quattrocchi
St. Vincent and St. Waldetrudis (7th century, parents of 4 saints)
St. Gordianus and St. Silvia (parents of St. Gregory the Great)
St. Aquila and St. Priscilla (early Christians, mentioned in the Bible)
St. Gregory and St. Nonna (parents of St. Gregory of Nazianzus and 2 other saints)
St. Basil the Elder and St. Macrina (parents of St. Basil the Great and other saints)
Whether or not we’re married, each of us should pray for married couples to be faithful to their marriage vows–to successfully fight for their marriage in the midst of a hostile culture–and reach Heaven one day. Below is a beautiful marriage prayer which we and couples praying for their marriages can pray.
Prayer for Marriage (Prayer for God’s Blessing on Married Couples)
I bless Thee, most gracious Lord Jesus Christ, for having ordained that Thy holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, of whom Thou, O Redeemer of all men, didst will to assume flesh, should proceed from the chaste union of Joachim and Anne. By Thy goodness I beseech Thee, through the merits of the holy parents Joachim and Anne, have mercy on (me and on) all who, in their memory, sanctify their life in the state of Matrimony. Give them rest and peace and health of body and soul; make them fruitful in good children; and after this exile, grant them eternal glory to Thy praise and honor, O sweetest and most gracious Savior. Amen.