St. Joseph is patron saint of Father's Day

Published: June 13, 2017

En Español

“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 prepare to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 18, 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. The following offers a variety of resources to help you celebrate the fathers in your life on Father's Day.

Resources and Tips

Novena to St. Joseph — This nine-day prayer from EWTN examines St. Joseph's importance to Jesus, Mary and the Universal Church.

Courageous Dads — Read articles about Catholic dads who have done amazing things on this feature from Fathers for Good, a website sponsored by the Knights of Columbus

101 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for One in a Million Dads, and Grandpas Too — These suggestions from Franciscan Media center around ideas that require little to no cost and focus on things to do together.

Virtual Retreat — This virtual retreat from Busted Halo helps young adults and their fathers connect with those wisdom moments and one another. You can do this retreat on your own or with your dad.

How Mothers Can Support Fathers — This article offers practical ways women can support fatherhood and build up marriage.

Checklist for Catholic Dads —  Randy Hain offers these suggestions in his book, "Journey to Heaven: A Road Map for Catholic Men": surrender; be a man of prayer; understand your true vocation; invest time; be courageous; practice detachment; and love your wives.

Help for Those Who Struggle Through Father's Day — This article from Life Teen acknowledges that many dads have hurt their children and it offers suggestions to help kids get through Father's Day including: seek your heavenly Father; support each other; and find a father figure.

Prayers for Dad

"Heavenly Father, we thank you for our fathers. They gave us life and continue to give us the wisdom to live our lives. By their examples of love, we know ourselves. By their examples of faith, we know you better. Invigorate our fathers with the love and respect of their children so that they may be encouraged, inspired and greatly blessed. Amen." — Father's Day Retreat,

"God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless our father. Let the example of his faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, his family, may honor him always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen." — Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

"God, you are the giver of all life, human and divine. Bless our father. May he be the best of teachers for his children, bearing witness to the faith by what he says and does, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen." — Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers