Saint-Martin church in Ansouis and its extraordinary couple

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The interior - ©François de Dijon / CC-BY-SA The interior - ©François de Dijon / CC-BY-SA
Saint-Martin church in Ansouis Parish church Love story Elzéar de Sabran Delphine de Signes Miracle

An extraordinary couple

In the small church of Ansouis, the famous Elzéar de Sabran (1285-1325) and his wife Delphine de Signes (1283–1360) were buried. Why famous? He was born near Ansouis in one of the most powerful family in Provence.

Count of Provence and king of Sicily Charles II married the young boy (he was 13) with the beautiful Delphine, 15 years old. Oh, Elzéar was rich and he was count of Ariano, baron of Ansouis, lord of Cadenet. Delphine just had to fall in love with him!

Err, yes, but the young one just left the convent, and she took a vow of chastity. No fancy goods in mind! She accepted to marry Elzéar, but on one condition: that he took the same vow. The young man, completely in love with Delphine, agreed.

The wedding took place in 1299. They lived together for 20 years, in the happiest chastity ever. Few years later, Elzéar fell ill, he was 38 years old: they said he had leper after he kissed a sick person!

Once her husband was dead, Delphine only lived for the poor, living herself in appalling conditions. She made lots of miracles... Pope Clément VI canonized Elzéar in Avignon’s church of St-Didier and finally, Delphine could pass away...

Relics in church

We can see Elzéar and Delphine’s reliquaries, dating backs to the 16th century, made of painted wood. The lower part represents scenes of their lives:

• Elzéar in his nurse’s arms
• Elzéar refusing to pray in front of a consecrated host brought by the priest
• Delphine resurrecting a man fell in a well, in Ansouis castle.
• Elzéar in a hospital, curing the sick persons
• Delphine’s death.

Relics are still inside the reliquary, the other part is in cathedral of Apt.


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