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married saints?


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#1 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:44 PM

Are there any married saints?
That can actually be example themselves and can guide us in the difficulties of such relationships having lived it first hand?

#2 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:49 PM

I've downloaded a book, married saints - marriage as a path to holiness by David and Mary ford

#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:51 PM

Yes, and yes. You could start with Joachim and Anna (invoked in intercessions), parents of the Mother of God, St Peter the Apostle, through great saints such Gregory of Nyssa, down to St John of Kronstadt (1908), Grand Duchess St Elizabeth (1918) and St Seraphim of Vyritsa (1949), and St Luke the Surgeon (1961).


Edited by Reader Andreas, 08 February 2015 - 04:52 PM.


#4 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:51 PM

Will let you know how I find it, and don't worry if I have any more questions I'll make sure to post😊

#5 Michał

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:40 PM

st. sophie of slutsk.



#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 07:19 PM

Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom are the Russian patron saints of marriage. Svetlana Medvedeva is promoting 8 July as a day to commemorate them and as a day to celebrate marriage. The saints lived in the 13th century and were a devoted married couple. I have been to Murom (about 300 km east of Moscow) and visited the monastery their dedicated to them, and it is delightful. Russian married couples have an icon of these saints in their home.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 08 February 2015 - 07:31 PM.


#7 Olga

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:22 PM

St Emilia of Cappadocia, daughter of a saint (Macrina the Elder), wife of a saint (Basil the Elder), and mother of ten children, of whom five became saints: Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Macrina the younger, Theosebeia the Deaconess, and Peter of Sebaste.

 

Here is a short life of St Emilia.



#8 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:00 PM

Thanks Olga.
Am hoping to find married saints who achieved sainthood in marriage.
Even thoughs that I have found were married, seem to live a monastic or celebate life later.
Does kind of bother me, I just don't understand it yet.
Is a celebate life more holy? If so why? What's wrong with marriage and sex?

#9 Olga

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:21 PM

There is nothing at all wrong with marriage and sex (sex in marriage, of course), Paul. The Orthodox marriage service makes that quite clear. However, widowhood leaves the surviving spouse with two choices: remarriage, especially if there are young children left orphaned; or celibacy, whether as a layman, or as a monastic. Both marriage and monasticism are equally blessed, one is not superior to the other as far as the Church is concerned.

 

St Emilia is regarded as a saint not because she became a nun later in life, but through her being a great example of a Christian woman and diligent mother. In icons of her, she is often seen holding a scroll with the words from scripture: Here I am, and the children whom God has given me.



#10 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

quotation from a wedding sermon preached by Saint Tikhon of Moscow in San Francisco in 1902, while he was bishop of the Church in America. We know of no more wonderful description of the creation of Eve to be Adam’s helpmate than we find in this sermon: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helpmeet for him”(Gen. 2: 18), said God Himself, when our forefather Adam was still in Paradise. Without a helpmate the very bliss of Paradise was not complete for Adam. Endowed with the ability to think, speak, and love, the first man in his thoughts is seeking another being who is able to think. His speech sounds sorrowfully in the air, and only a lifeless echo serves as an answer to him. And his heart, full of love, is looking for another heart that is close and equal to his. His entire being desires another being similar to him, but there is no such being. The creatures of the visible world around him are lower than he is and cannot be helpmates appropriate for him; and the beings of the invisible, spiritual world are higher than he is.
Then the All-Merciful God, who cares about the bliss of man, fulfills his need and creates for him a helpmate appropriate for him –a

#11 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:38 PM

That's the conclusion to the preface of the book I mentioned, hopefully will learn a lot from this

#12 Paul

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:56 PM

Last word should be wife, I can't edit for some reason

#13 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 08:16 AM

Thanks Olga.
Am hoping to find married saints who achieved sainthood in marriage.
Even thoughs that I have found were married, seem to live a monastic or celebate life later.
Does kind of bother me, I just don't understand it yet.
Is a celebate life more holy? If so why? What's wrong with marriage and sex?

 

There is often confusion about marriage versus monasticism in the minds of western converts. This is partly because life in the Church in the west often lacks the linkage that exists in countries such as Cyprus, Greece and Russia between parish and monastery. There is also, in the west, such a culture of materialism that the Church’s ascetic tradition and indeed faith itself may be very hard to maintain. (In Russia last September, an archimandrite we met, when he learned we lived in England, expressed his sympathy for us, imagining how hard it must be to keep faith and live an Orthodox life here.)

 

People in the west sometimes create in their minds a contrast between married life in the world and monasticism which is actually false. Monasticism may offer an opportunity for greater asceticism and thus in that sense be a higher calling, but as was once said, there may be a woman in the world in a bright dress who is inwardly a nun and a nun in the monastery in a black habit who is inwardly worldly.

 

All people are called to the life in Christ which includes asceticism. Leaving the world for the monastery is, we must say, a higher calling but what matters is the degree to which the calling is fulfilled. We are all the Body of Christ, and, to use St Paul’s figure of the parts of a body, neither marriage nor monasticism can say to the other, ‘I have no need of thee’.

 

This is from the writings of Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos:

 

Indeed we know very well that the Church praises both ways of life, both the monastic life and the married life. But this does not mean that one is praised at the expense of the other. And at this point we must say that the interpretation of the Parable of the Talents applies, which we mentioned before.

It can be maintained that in the Church the people are not divided simply into unmarried and married, but into people who live in Christ and people who do not live in Christ. Thus on the one hand we have people who have the Holy Spirit and on the other hand people who do not have the Holy Spirit. Moreover, in the early Church, as it seems in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, all the Christians, unmarried and married, lived like monks, because even marriage has its asceticism.

Therefore, if some monk criticizes marriage in Christ, he shows that he has a problem with the monastic life, and if a married person criticizes and looks askance at the monastic life, it means that he has a problem with the way in which he is living his life. A good monk never criticizes what God praises and a good married person never criticizes anything that God praises, such as the monastic life. It is characteristic that the best homily about Virginity is said to have been composed by St. Gregory of Nyssa, who was married: and a man who was unmarried, St. Amphilochios of Ikonium, wrote excellent things about the married life. Moreover let us not forget that St. Paphnoutios defended marriage for the Clergy in the First Ecumenical Council.

In his homily St. Amphilochios of Ikonium shows that the Christian is a catholic man, in other words, whole. He praises virginity and marriage. In speaking about virginity he says of marriage: "The worthy marriage towers above every earthly gift, such as a tree in fruit. . . as a root of virginity, as a cultivator of the rational and living branches". Then he says: "Remove the worthy marriage and you do not find the flower of virginity". Moreover, the comparison is between two worthy things, because St. Amphilochios says: "Saying these things, we are not introducing a fight between virginity and marriage; we admire both as mutually indebted". To conclude, he says characteristically: "For without devout knowledge of divine things neither is virginity modest nor marriage worthy".

And the holy Chrysostom teaches many things about this subject. He says: "For our married people have everything in common with the monks except marriage". All people should adapt themselves to Christ's commandments. Therefore the holy Father says characteristically: "If we are temperate neither marriage nor nourishment nor anything else will prevent us from being able to be well-pleasing to God". If marriage and raising children was going to hinder us on the path of virtue, the creator of all things would not have brought marriage into our life".

What Basil the Great says is also characteristic: "We people, monks and married, are all required to obey the Gospel."



#14 Kosta

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 11:30 AM

Sts. Mitrophan & Tatiana -the Chinese martyrs.

#15 Kusanagi

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 01:19 PM

I would recommend St Monia as an excellent example.



#16 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 04:14 PM

Concerning those who have become saints while married rather than in monastic life after marriage: First let me say that the foundations of a holy life are established throughout the whole life - not just at the onset of monasticism. Even if a person becomes a monastic later in life, their previous life affects and in many ways defines their monastic life. So a person who has been recognized as a saint, even though they may have entered monastic life later on, laid the foundations for that saintly life in their marriage.

Second, Saints who did live a married life in a saintly fashion - let me suggest Sts Peter and Fevronia of Murom (who although they did enter monastic life late clearly were living a saintly life in marriage). They have been set as an example of married life and the Russian Church has set aside the Sunday nearest Sept 13 as a special commemoration of Sts Peter and Fevronia as the patrons of married and family life. Also look at the life of St Juliana of Lazarevo who lived a holy life throughout her marriage and even though she did desire to enter monastic life, at the request of her husband and family, consented to remain in the home (there is a parish in her honor founded by her descendents in Sante Fe, NM).

Fr David

#17 Anna Stickles

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:15 PM

Just to follow up on what Fr David said, The goal of the Christian life is love. The monastics learn this in the monastery, in their interactions with their brothers. If they learn this well God may call them by His grace, to a more universal love. This more universal love is accompanied by greater asceticism and noetic prayer, as the saint struggles in cooperation with God's call, to leave behind the distractions and necessities of our material existence, and this in turn frees the monk to more fully give of themselves to God and to man, undistracted by care for themselves.   Married Christians learn Christian love in the home, in their interactions with their family.  But God may also call the married person to a more universal love and the struggle this entails.  St Juliana story is a good example of this, as is St Emily.  This is why in the lives of the married saints we often see them living celibate later in life. 

 

This more universal life where the energy spent on our own material and physical concerns is redirected toward love of God and others is hard to understand, mostly I don't think that we can understand it, except as we glimpse it in a mirror darkly in the lives of the saints.  



#18 Paul

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 08:47 PM

All the lives of these married saints so far in the book I mentioned have all been so sad stories, could almost make a horror film some of them.
So much sadness, torture and being killed.
What about happiness in life, enjoying life?
I know I'm probably not looking at this the right way.
The introduction of the book was beautiful, but the actual lives of the saints, may because the writing of their lives is so brief doesn't help, but it's just so sad and horrid in parts, and just think why? It's terrible, why these terrible things have to happen to these faithful of God and to their families even.

#19 Paul

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 08:57 PM

Saint Theodora of Alexandria September 11 Egypt; 5th century

 

SAINT THEODORA WAS WEALTHY and of noble birth. She married a kind, well-mannered, and pious man named Paphnutius, with whom she lived in Alexandria, Egypt. But the devil, who is inflamed with continual hatred for mankind, could not endure to see Theodora’s happiness. So he prompted in a certain rich young man a burning lust for her. In order to win her for himself, this young man went to a sorcerer, and paid her to cast a spell upon Theodora, and to persuade her to yield to him.

 

This accomplice of Satan managed to speak with Theodora, and was able to confuse her mind and weaken her resolve to stay true to Paphnutius. Soon thereafter the young Theodora did fall into the sin of adultery with this young man. But immediately afterwards, her conscience pierced her like a sword. And as she remembered her former happiness and purity of life, her conscience tormented her all the more. In her agonizing pain of guilt and remorse, she fled to a convent to seek the mercy and forgiveness of God. She confessed openly to everyone there. But to avoid being discovered by her husband, whom she could not bear to face, she disguised herself in men’s clothing, changed her name to Theodore, and entered the monastic life in a men’s monastery.

 

Her repentance was so sincere, and her ascetic labors so diligent, that God deemed her worthy to do wonders. She was given power over the wild beasts, and once she healed a man mangled by a lion. In a time of drought, she filled the lakes near the monastery by her prayers. Meanwhile, her husband grieved over the loss of his wife. He could not bear the tormenting thought that she had run off with another man. So God, in His infinite mercy, revealed to him that she had not left him for another man, but that she had taken up the monastic life. This calmed his mind and heart, although he still missed her companionship.

 

After some time, Theodora was accused by envious monks of having made a certain unmarried woman pregnant. Remembering her own sin, she did not protest against this accusation, but humbly and silently accepted being thrown out of the monastery. She quietly took the child and raised him herself, in the desert wilderness nearby. After seven years, during which time she overcame many demonic temptations and illusions, the abbot of the monastery accepted her back. Her true identity was revealed only at her death, two years later, in the year 490.

 

Everyone marveled at the goodness and patience of this “monk”who had raised the illegitimate child that she could not possibly have fathered. And the abbot of her monastery was granted a vision of Theodora being received into Heaven with grandeur by a multitude of angels. When she died, God miraculously directed the steps of her husband to her monastery. He attended her funeral, and then entered her cell to continue her spiritual struggles, and to be with her in spirit. When he died, he was buried with her. And the child whom she had raised and instructed in the Faith eventually became the abbot of her monastery.


Edited by Olga, 11 February 2015 - 10:03 PM.
added paragraph spaces for ease of reading


#20 Michał

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 09:13 PM

All the lives of these married saints so far in the book I mentioned have all been so sad stories, could almost make a horror film some of them.
So much sadness, torture and being killed. 

 

Joachim and Anne, again, Zacharias and Elizabeth, pretty much every other Old Testament couple.


Edited by Michał, 11 February 2015 - 09:15 PM.





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