I am a Seminary Candidate (only a few interviews/tests left) for the Diocese of _______. I have been reflecting on the lives of the saints, and looking for some to study more in depth during Lent/Easter/the next few months.
My question is: Are there stories of any saints who struggled with marriage/celibacy that you know of? I don’t mean like the Virgin Martyrs of the Early Church (dad wants daughter to be married, daughter wants to remain celibate, convinces potential husband of her POV, martyred by family/local authorities in response) and I don’t mean like Augustine (struggling between the life of a playboy and a saint). I mean where a saint seriously thought about getting married/fell in love with someone (not just an idea), but then ultimately discerned the call to celibacy.
I am sure that they exist, but I feel like the way most hagiographies are written, any account of that happening tends to get blurred out. Exs: I don’t recall any part of Anthony of Padua’s vocation story that involved him thinking about getting married (just wrestling between the Augustinian and Franciscan Orders). Or John Paul II: I don’t really remember him thinking about getting married and/or falling in love with someone in Weigel’s Witness to Hope. Or with Francis (of Assisi); I remember him struggling against being a playboy, but never about getting married (Yes, I know about Claire; but there are a few problems with it 1. They met after he had made his vows [therefore, it would be a temptation to break his vows, not discernment about whether or not he should take them] 2. The struggle has definitely been exaggerated over the years; wasn’t actually that much of a struggle)
I know that there have to have been saints who dealt with this situation (as essentially all seminarians since the mandatory celibacy discipline have had to deal with [plus all of the celibate priests/religious from before the rule]), but I cannot think of any. Does anyone know of any?
(I also know the reverse exists: St. Therese’s parents, I am just looking for saints in the other situation.)