On Father’s Day, we honored all those living the vocation of fatherhood. Fathers and people who act in the role of a father have touched all of our lives, and we pray in a special way for those men. Let us ask for the intercession of the saints who lived out their fatherly vocation, that they may be models for loving, com-passionate, and Christ-centered fatherhood.
Here are just a few of these saintly fathers:
St. Louis Martin
Canonized just a few years ago with his wife, Zélie, St. Louis Martin is a wonderful example of a Christian father. Though he wished to enter religious life, he answered God’s call to marriage and raised an extraordinarily holy family. All five of his daughters who survived to adulthood became nuns, one of whom is known today as St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
St. Basil the Elder
Though he is less well-known than his son, St. Basil the Great, St. Basil the Elder was a powerful force in the early Church and a holy father. In addition to being a respected teacher, St. Basil the Elder was the father of ten children, many of whom are recognized today as saints.
St. Louis IX
St. Louis IX was more than just the king of France—he was also the father of eleven children! St. Louis took his responsibilities as a monarch seriously, and he saw his kingship as an opportunity to serve God. Throughout his reign, he offered an authentically Christian witness to both his own children and the people of France.
St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More is best known for his defense of the Church and marriage against King Henry VIII, but he had been a holy man of integrity for his whole life. This integrity extended abundantly into his role as a father. He had great love for his children and took special care to make sure that they all received an education.
St. Hilary of Poitiers
This Christian convert was a father who was unwillingly named bishop of Poitiers in France. St. Hilary is another great example of a father living out his call, even when it was not what he expected. He became a great writer and theologian and was especially known for his defense against the Arian heresy.
No list of holy Christian fathers could be complete without St. Joseph.
This quiet, unassuming man listened closely to God and gave himself entirely to the Father’s will. His job was not an easy one: he was tasked with raising Jesus, the Son of God, and providing for a family under trying circumstances. Never complaining, St. Joseph humbly accepted his task and became a model of fatherhood in the Holy Family.