5 Saints who were fathers of large families

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These remarkable men were not only devout Christians but also devoted dads.

With Father’s Day approaching, it’s a great opportunity to meet holy men who managed to juggle a virtuous life while raising kids. While the thought of leading such an incredibly devout life alone might seem daunting, these saintly men managed to find time for their faith while also raising a large number of kids.

So if you want a little inspiration, or you just want to read more about some truly accomplished men, take a look at the slideshow.

St. Louis Martin

The father of St. Thérèse de Lisieux was canonized with his wife Zélie in 2015. Throughout his life he had to contend with the heartache of losing 4 of his 9 children, and watch as his wife succumbed to cancer. As a dad, he ensured all his children had a strong faith as they all went on to enter religious life.

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St. Louis Martin

© Wikipedia PD

St. Nicholas of Flüe

This 15th-century Swiss folk hero was successful in settling disputes between cantonal factions. His efforts actually prevented a civil war. His skills were undoubtedly put to the test when raising his 11 children. Eventually his faith called him to become a hermit — with his wife’s blessing, of course.

St. Nicholas of Flüe

© Public Domain

St. Louis IX, King of France

The 13th-century French king who had 11 children with his wife Margaret of Provence insisted on giving his children a life of faith and instilling in them the perils of mortal sin. The devout king set a great example by using money to help the vulnerable in society and inviting beggars to his home for meals.+

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St. Louis IX, King of France

© Public Domain

St. Leonidas of Alexandria

It’s hard to imagine the level of patience needed to parent 7 boys, but this wealthy layman must have had some success, as one of his boys went on to be the philosopher Origen. When Leonidas was beheaded for his faith in the 3rd century, his family was saved from destitution thanks to a Christian lady.+

St. Leonidas of Alexandria

© Public Domain

St. John Paul II

While the late pontiff might not have been a biological father, he was the spiritual “papa” to millions. His wisdom and kindness made him an ideal example to follow for children and adults alike. And as with any wonderful father, his pearls of wisdom will continue to influence those born after his death in 2005.+

St. John Paul II

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