A Prayer for Christian Fathers
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers
as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.
“If a person cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint for his guide, and he will not lose his way.” — St. Teresa of Avila referring to St. Joseph
St. Joseph, husband of Mary and earthly father of Jesus, is the model of fatherhood. His faith and obedience to God inspired his devotion for his family. As we celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 20, it might be helpful to study his example. In “Five Lessons from St. Joseph,” author Randy Hain points out attributes that serve as a helpful guide:
- St. Joseph was obedient.
- St. Joseph was selfless.
- St. Joseph led by example.
- St. Joseph was a worker.
- St. Joseph was a leader.
“Let’s look to the inspiring example of St. Joseph, patron saint of fathers, workers and the Universal Church for his obedience, humility, selflessness, courage and the love he showed to Mary and Jesus. If we can emulate St. Joseph even a little each day, we will be that much closer to becoming the men we are called to be,” Hain wrote.
St. Pope John Paul II highlighted St. Joseph to explain the Catholic understanding of fatherhood in his 1989 apostolic exhortation, Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer: On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and the Church).
“Commending ourselves, then, to the protection of (St. Joseph) to whose custody God ‘entrusted his greatest and most precious treasures,’ let us at the same time learn from him how to be servants of the ‘economy of salvation.’ May St. Joseph become for all of us an exceptional teacher in the service of Christ’s saving mission, a mission which is the responsibility of each and every member of the Church: husbands and wives, parents, those who live by the work of their hands or by any other kind of work, those called to the contemplative life and those called to the apostolate.” (Redemptoris Custos, no. 32)
The significance of St. Joseph’s presence in Jesus’ life reminds us how important fathers are in our lives. Blessings to you on this celebration of fathers in our lives.