Valerie Schultz's essay on sex and the married life won second prize for best essay from the Catholic Press Association in 2002. "My marriage," she begins, "are not what saints are made of."
I concluded this after reading Pope John Paul II’s homily on the occasion of the first-ever beatification of a married couple, Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi. Maria and Luigi, an Italian couple who lived in early to mid-20th century, led holy lives. They attended daily Mass, prayed a nightly rosary and raised two priests, a consecrated lay woman and a nun. They devoted their lives to various Catholic organizations. Because the cause for canonization treated the two together, a single miracle attributed to their intercession cleared the way for beatification in October 2001. The prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints considered them together because of “their experience of sanctity, lived together so intimately.” In other words, their marriage made it impossible to separate them.
The part that remains off the record is that, after giving birth to their children, Maria and Luigi stopped having sex.