Today, marriage is under assault from all sides. The idea of a lifelong, faithful union that is open to life is almost incomprehensible to the modern, Western world.
Widespread divorce, cohabitation and contraception within marriage have all struck terrible blows at this Sacrament.
Read more about how author Ferdinand Holbock has done a great service to the Church and to all Catholic couples in describing the lives of holy, yet married, men and women down the centuries.
What is clear from the book is that married sanctity, whether caring for an often large family or not, calls for the highest heroism. Several of these saints (usually women) suffered greatly in unhappy marriages, when their husbands were neglectful, unfaithful, profligate or abusive. St Rita of Cascia and St Monica are two such; but their patience and forgiveness were exemplary and eventually brought about the conversion of their erring spouses.
Today, an army of counsellors would possibly urge wives to abandon an unhappy marriage; these steadfast examples show us that there is another, more heroic way. On this subject the author gives an amusing quote from the hagiographer, Walter Nigg, in reference to St Elizabeth of Hungary: ‘A marriage can be successful only when an angel serves as a messenger between those united in marriage; this does a hundred times more good than all the modern marriage counselling services put together.’ Much angelic guidance is surely needed today by couples today. READ MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK REVIEW