Franciscan Saints  

26th September & 27th September St. Elzear and Blessed Delphina  (1286-1323) (1283-1358)


This is the only Franciscan couple to be canonized or beatified formally.

Elzear and Delphina are buried in Apt, France. He was canonized in 1369, and she was beatified in 1694 [1]

26th September

Blessed Delphina of Glandeves

Virgin, Third Order

The veneration that had begun to be given to Delphine was confirmed by Pope Urban V, Godson of Elz�ar, who canonized her husband at that time. Her feast day was previously celebrated by the Franciscan Third Order on the anniversary of her death. It was moved from that date to 26 September, sharing that of her husband, in the reform in the Calendar of saints of the Order in 1969. [2]

Blessed Delphina was the only daughter of the wealthy Count William of Glandeves in southern France. She lost both parents when she was 7 years old, but the little orphan was received into a convent school were an aunt of hers was abbess. There she received an excellent education in the fear of the Lord and in everything pertaining to her eminent rank.  

Delphina had already consecrated herself to God by the vow of virginity, when King Charles II chose her as Elzear's bride. Filled with consternation, Delphina had recourse to the Blessed Virgin, to whose motherly care she had entrusted herself. Our Lady appeared to her and calmed her fears. Delphina then consented to the marriage, which took place with great solemnity in the presence of the king and the archbishop of Aix. The holy innocence of his spouse filled Elzear with such love of holy purity that he made a vow to act only as the protector of her virginity, and he was faithful to this pledge all his life. They lived together like two angels, the one ever encouraging the other in more ardent love of God.  

Delphina devoted herself to the care of her household. The servants, whom she had to retain because of her high rank, she instructed in piety and the fear of God. She took great personal interest in them all, loving them as if they were her children. The in turn loved and honored her as their mother, young as she was.  

Elzear died on an errand to Paris in the interests of the king. Delphina wept bitterly when she heard the news. Nevertheless she prayed: "My God, may Thy most holy will be done!" Urged by the spirit of God toward still greater perfection, she presently renounced all temporal goods and added to her vow of chastity the vow of holy poverty.  

The fame of Delphina's holy life induced Queen Eleonore of Sicily to appoint her mistress of the royal household. Delphina so transformed the easy morals of the court that the palace seemed changed onto a sanctuary. She lived many years yet, edifying the nobility by the brilliant example of her virtue. She died a saintly death in 1358 at the age of 74. Her tomb is next to that of her husband in the city of Apt in southern France. Numerous miracles increased the veneration paid to her and Pope Urban V solemnly approved this veneration.

Prayer of the Church

O God, who in addition to other virtues didst adorn Blessed
Delphina, Thy servant with virginal purity in the married state
mercifully grant that we who devoutly celebrate her festival here
on earth, may arrive safely in her blessed company.
Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth �and reigneth

Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 1.Foley, Leonard Fr, OFM.,ed., revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.,2009,Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast, St. Anthony�s messenger Press, Cincinnati, OH
 2. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Modified 29 March 2013,Delphine of Gland�ves,, Accessed 21 August 2013,<�ves>

   Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


27th September


St. Elzear of Sabran


Confessor, Third Order

St Elzear of Sabran was born in 1285 and belonged to a very noble family. His father was the head of the house of Sabran in southern France and count of Ariano in the kingdom of Naples. His mother was a woman of great piety, who, because of her charity to the poor, was known as the good countess. Elzear was her first child.   After his baptism she took Saint Elzear of Sabran in her arms and asked God to take him out of this world if He foresaw that the child would ever stain his soul by sin. With his mother's milk he seems to have imbibed the spirit of piety, for from his babyhood he was always docile, gentle, and modest, without a trace of mawkishness in his piety. He was friendly towards everyone, and was particularly devoted to the poor.   When he was only 13 years old, Saint Elzear of Sabran undertook severe bodily mortifications in order to keep the flesh in subjection to the spirit.  


Conforming to the wish of the king of Naples, who was also the Lord of Southern France, he married while still quite young, the Countess Delphina of the Glandeves family. On their wedding day both spouses vowed perpetual virginity, and persevered in living like brother and sister until death.  


At the death of his father, Saint Elzear of Sabran, who was then only 23 years old, inherited his father's titles. He considered it his sacred duty to provide for the temporal, and above all, the spiritual welfare of his people. He was particularly solicitous that the laws of God and of the Church were observed in his dominions.   The poor were the special object of his solicitude. Every day 12 of them dined at the same table with him and the countess. There was remarkable calmness and self-possession in his demeanor. Personal injuries did not affect him. If anyone repeated to him anything uncomplimentary that had been said about him, he did not even ask who it was that said it, but merely replied:   "Worse things were said about Christ."


Going to Italy in his capacity as count of Ariano, Saint Elzear of Sabran found that his Italian subjects were not all disposed to accept French domination. That lasted for several years. It was suggested to him that he deal severely with the offenders, but he would not consent. In four years he had won over the people by his gentleness and charity, and all looked up to him as to a father.  


Upon his return to France his subjects there prepared a great feast for him. Delphina was especially happy, and the devout couple now joined the Third Order of St Francis in order to be still more intimately united to God. Elzear redoubled his acts of piety. He prayed the divine office every day as the priests do, scourged his body severely, and nursed the sick with as much charity and reverence as if he were actually performing these services to Christ Himself.  


God granted him the gift of miracles, and he cured several lepers. By his prayers he also restored health to the son of the count of Grimoard, who was the saint's Godchild. On this occasion Elzear told the father that his child would one day be elevated to one of the greatest dignitaries of the Church. The child later became Pope Urban V.  


Although engaged in many works of piety, Elzear never neglected his temporal duties. He was obliged to spend several years at the court of the saintly King Robert of Naples, where he gave proof of his courage and talent as army chief and minister of state.  


Sent to the court of Paris on matters of state, he was seized with a serious illness. With the same serenity which he had preserved throughout life, he prepared himself for death, made a general confession of his whole life, received the last sacraments with angelic devotion, and departed from this life in his 40th year on September 27, 1323.   Because of the numerous miracles that occurred at his tomb and the urgent request of the kings of France and Naples, Pope Urban V, his Godchild, with great joy canonized him in the year 1369.


Prayer of the Church

O God, who didst adorn St. Elzear, Thy confessor, with the

virtue of virginity in tyhhe married state along with other virtues,

mercifully grant that we who celebrate his saintly memory here

on earth may attain to happy association with him in heaven.

Through the same Christ Our Lord  Who liveth �and reigneth

Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

   Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

September Next

Last edited 13/09/2017 08:21
(C) EFO 2013
Web administrator Wayne Benge