Throughout history, hagiographers have typified certain relationships between Christ and His saints as that of the between a bridegroom and bride.
Some saints went so far as to experience a “mystical marriage” wedding ceremony with Christ where they consecrate themselves to Him.
According to The Catholic Encyclopedia:
“The mystical marriage consists in a vision in which Christ tells a soul that He takes it for His bride, presenting it with the customary ring, and the apparition is accompanied by a ceremony; the Blessed Virgin, saints, and angels are present. This festivity is but the accompaniment and symbol of a purely spiritual grace; hagiographers do not make clear what this grace is, but it may at least be said that the soul receives a sudden augmentation of charity and of familiarity with God, and that He will thereafter take more special care of it. All this, indeed, is involved in the notion of marriage. Moreover, as a wife should share in the life of her husband, and as Christ suffered for the redemption of mankind, the mystical spouse enters into a more intimate participation in His sufferings.”
The most famous known cases of which are Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Catherine of Alexandria who were frequent subjects of mystical marriages in medieval art.
View a selection of mystical marriages seen in medieval art below: