St. Elzéar of Sabran


Baron of Ansouis, Count of Ariano, born in the castle of Saint-Jean de Robians, in Provence, 1285; died at Paris, 27 September, 1323. After a thorough training in piety and the sciences under his uncle William of Sabran, Abbot of St. Victor at Marseilles, he acceded to the wish of Charles II of Naples and married the virtuous Delphine 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. On the death of his father, in 1309, he went to Italy and, after subduing by kindness his subjects who despised the French, he went to Rome at the head of an army and aided in expelling the Emperor Henry VII. Returning to Provence, he made a vow of chastity with his spouse, and in 1317 went back to Naples to become the tutor of Duke Charles and later his prime minister when he 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 Urban V and published by Gregory XI. His feast is kept by the Friars Minor and Conventuals on the 27th of September, and by the Capuchins on the 20th of October.