Elzéar of Sabran

Saint Elzéar of Sabran, Baron of Ansouis, Count of Ariano, was born in the castle of Saint-Jean-de-Robians, in Provence, southern France, in 1285; he died in Paris on September 27, 1323. After a thorough training in piety and the sciences under his uncle, Abbot William of Sabran, of the Abbey of St. Victor at Marseilles, he acceded to the wish of king Charles II of Naples and married the virtuous Blessed Delphina of the house of Glandèves. He respected her desire to live in virginity and joined the Third Order of St. Francis, vying with her in the practice of prayer, mortification and charity towards the unfortunate. At the age of twenty he moved from Ansouis to Puy-Michel for greater solitude, and formulated for his servants rules of conduct that made his household a model of Christian virtue. Upon the death of his father in 1309, he went to his new domains in Italy and, after subduing by kindness his subjects who had despised the French, he was able to march to Rome at the head of an army and aid in expelling the Emperor Henry VII. Returning to Provence, he took a vow of celibacy with his spouse, and in 1317 went back to Naples to become the tutor of Duke Charles and later his prime minister when Charles became regent. In 1323 he was sent as ambassador to France to obtain Marie of Valois in marriage for Charles, edifying a worldly court by his heroic virtues. He was buried in the Franciscan habit in the church of the Minor Conventuals at Apt. The decree of his canonization was signed by his godson Pope Urban V and published by Pope Gregory XI. His liturgical feast, which he now shares with his wife, is observed by the various Franciscan orders on September 26th.

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