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(LifeSiteNews) — Have you ever wondered about married saints? Can you even think of a saint as being romantic? Actually, they were romantic. Very much so.

Joining me to discuss this on today’s episode of The John-Henry Westen Show is Patrick O’Hearn, author of the book Courtship of the Saints: How the Saints Met their Spouses.

O’Hearn tells me the term “courtship” stems from “courtier,” an adviser to a king and queen, and progressed down through the centuries to mean pursuing a woman with an end toward marriage. He adds that this is different from the modern conception of “dating,” which originated in the 20th century and has more casual and less end-directed connotations.

Citing several stories mentioned in his book — from the lives of famous saintly couples like Gianna and Pietro Molla, Louis and Zélie Martin, and others — O’Hearn explains that strong prayer lives were essential to their marriages and their ever-deepening love for each other.

“Hollywood glamorizes [and] distorts the whole marital act, and here the saints are … showing the beauty of the sacrament of marriage and how it’s partaking of Christ’s love for His Church,” he says.

In this episode, we also discuss what O’Hearn’s book has to offer not just to married couples but to their children who may be coming of age and starting to discern their vocation.

“I think courtship for them is [that] you’re choosing your spouse now, at every moment, even as a teenager,” he says. “Every temptation you face … it’s all about that future, whether you’re going to marry this person or not. So the choices we make, and as I spell out in the book, it’s a life of prayer that leads us ultimately to God’s will and to marrying that spouse that will lead us to heaven.”

Children also need good examples from their own parents to show them it’s possible to have a virtuous yet affectionate marriage.

“Parents are the first, and basically the only, vocations director for the sacrament of marriage for their children,” O’Hearn says. “And the way that they see us men courting our spouse … we don’t just court them before marriage, it’s our entire life. And every day we should be loving our spouse even more than the previous day.”

To close out the episode, O’Hearn advises young people that “the way we prepare for marriage is the way ultimately our marriage will turn out” and suggests avoiding “shortcuts” in finding a spouse.

“[God] wants saints to be born, and we have to come with that mindset [that] it’s not about us. It’s about the future of the Church,” he says. “The way you prepare is the way your marriage will end up. And we see the fruit of that in these saints.”

Check out Patrick O’Hearn’s book here.

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.