Last week (October 16th) the Church celebrated the feast day of an obscure saint—Hedwig. Here is what I find so interesting about her: she and her husband, after producing seven children, took a vow of celibacy. And she is not alone in this regard in the canon of married saints. There are many examples of married saints who voluntarily adopted the practice of celibacy. A more famous example is that of Cecelia, whose feast day occurs on November 22nd. She and her husband took their vow before producing even a single child. There are more examples, and I think it would be instructive to take a closer look at these saints and the circumstances of their vows.
Here is what intrigues me about these saints. If the saints are meant to be examples to be imitated by the Christian faithful, then do saints like Hedwig and Cecelia serve as an example to married Christians? What are your thoughts? I welcome your comments. I also encourage you to add to the list of married, celibate saints:
- Cunegundes, March 3
- Catherine of Sweden, March 24
- Paulinus of Nola, June 22
- Ethelreda (Audrey), June 23
- Hedwig, October 16
- Cecelia, November 22
I will be returning to this page periodically to expand on my thoughts and to expand our list.
**(“1929wedding”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1929wedding.jpg#/media/File:1929wedding.jpg)