"All parents must set a strong
example of faith in the home. Your children are being subject to much error
and much soul destruction outside your home. Discipline and truth must be
brought to the children. The greatest responsibility for these children will
be given to the parents. Guard their souls well.” - Our Lady of the
Roses, July 1, 1973
Saint Alphonsus, founder of the Redemptorist Order,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church expounds on the privilege and
responsibilities of parenthood as a special vocation from God:
The gospel tells us, that a good
plant cannot produce bad fruit, and that a bad one cannot produce good
fruit. We learn from this, that a good father brings up good children. But,
if the parents are wicked, how can the children be virtuous? Have you ever,
says Our Lord, in the same gospel, seen grapes gathered from thorns, or figs
from thistles? Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
So, it is impossible, or rather very
difficult, to find children virtuous, who are brought up by immoral parents.
Fathers and mothers, be attentive to this sermon, which is of great
importance to the eternal salvation of yourselves and of your children. Be
attentive, young men and young women, who have not as yet chosen a state in
life. If you wish to marry, learn the obligations which you contract with
regard to the education of your children, and learn also, that if you do not
fulfill them, you shall bring yourselves and all your children to damnation.
I shall divide this into two points. In the first, I shall show how
important it is to bring up children in habits of virtue; and, in the
second, I shall show with what care and diligence a parent ought to labor to
bring them up well.
A father owes two obligations to his
children; he is bound to provide for their corporal wants, and to educate
them in the habits of virtue. It is not necessary to say anything else about
the first obligation, than, there are some fathers more cruel than the most
ferocious of wild beasts; for these squander away in eating, drinking, and
pleasure, all their property, or all the fruits of their industry, and allow
their children to die of hunger. Let us discuss education, which is the
subject of this article.
It is certain that a child's future
good or bad conduct depends on his being brought up well or poorly. Nature
itself teaches every parent to attend to the education of his offspring. God
gives children to parents, not that they may assist the family, but that
they may be brought up in the fear of God, and be directed in the way of
eternal salvation. "We have," says Saint John Chrysostom, "a great deposit
in children, let us attend to them with great care." Children have not been
given to parents as a present, which they may dispose of as they please, but
as a trust, for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an
account to God.
One of the great Fathers says, that
on the day of judgment, parents will have to render an account for all the
sins of their children. So, he who teaches his son to live well, shall die a
happy and tranquil death. He that teaches his son...when he died, he was
not sorrowful, neither was he confounded before his enemies. (Eccl. 30:
3,5) And he will save his soul by means of his children, that is, by the
virtuous education which he has given them. She shall be saved through
child-bearing. (I Tim. 2:15)
But, on the other hand, a very uneasy
and unhappy death will be the lot of those who have labored only to increase
the possessions, or to multiply the honors of their family, or who have
sought only to lead a life of ease and pleasure, but have not watched over
the morals of their children. Saint Paul says that such parents are worse
than infidels. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of
those of his house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
(I Tim. 5:8)
Were fathers or mothers to lead a
life of piety and continual prayer, and to communicate every day, they
should be damned if they neglected the care of their children.
If all fathers fulfilled their duty
of watching over the education of their children, we should have but few
crimes. By the bad education which parents give to their offspring, they
cause their children, says Saint John Chrysostom, to rush into many grievous
vices; and thus they deliver them up to the hands of the executioner. So it
was, in one town, a parent, who was the cause of all the irregularities of
his children, was justly punished for his crimes with greater severity than
the children themselves. Great indeed is the misfortune of the child that
has vicious parents, who are incapable of bringing up their children in the
fear of God, and who, when they see their children engage in dangerous
friendships and in quarrels, instead of correcting and chastising them, they
take compassion on them, and say: "What can I do? They are young; hopefully
they will grow out of it." What wicked words, what a cruel education! Do you
hope that when your children grow up, they will become saints? Listen to
what Solomon says: A young man, according to his way, even when he is
old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) A young man who has
contracted a habit of sin, will not abandon it even in his old age. His
bones, says holy Job, will be filled with the vices of his youth, and
they will sleep with him in the dust. (Job 20:11)
When a young person has lived in evil
habits, his bones will be filled with the vices of his youth, so that he
will carry them to the grave, and the impurities, blasphemies, and hatred to
which he was accustomed in his youth, will accompany hem to the grave, and
will sleep with him after his bones are reduced to dust and ashes. It is
very easy, when they are small, to train children to habits of virtue, but,
when they have come to manhood, it is equally difficult to correct them, if
they have learned habits of vice.
Let us come to the second point --
that is, to the means of bringing up children in the practice of virtue. I
beg you, fathers and mothers, to remember what I now say to you, form on it
depends the eternal salvation of your own souls, and of the souls of your
Saint Paul teaches sufficiently, in a few words, in
what the proper education of children consists. He says that it consists in
discipline and correction. And you, fathers, provoke not your children to
anger, but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord. (Ephes.
5:4) Discipline, which is the same as the religious regulation of the morals
of children, implies an obligation of educating them in habits of virtue by
word and example. First, by words: a good father should often assemble his
children, and instill into them the holy fear of God. It was in this manner
that Tobias brought up his little son. The father taught him from his
childhood to fear the Lord and to fly from sin. And from infancy he
taught him to fear God and abstain from sin. (Tobias 1:10) The wise man
says, that a well educated son is the support and consolation of his father.
Instruct your son, and he will refresh you, and will give delight to your
soul. (Prov. 29:17)
But, as a well instructed son is the delight of his
father's soul, so an ignorant child is a source of sorrow to a father's
heart, for the ignorance of his obligations as a Christian is always
accompanied with a bad life.
It was related that, in the year 1248, an ignorant
priest was commanded, in a certain synod, to make a discourse. He was
greatly agitated by the command and the Devil appearing to him, instructed
him to say: "The rectors of infernal darkness salute the rectors of
parishes, and thank them for their negligence in instructing the people;
because from ignorance proceeds the misconduct and the damnation of many."
The same is true of negligent
parents. In the first place, a parent ought to instruct his children in the
truths of the Faith, and particularly in the four principle mysteries.
First, that there is but One God, the Creator and Lord of all things;
secondly, that this God is a remunerator, Who, in the next life, will reward
the good with the eternal glory of Paradise, and will punish the wicked with
the everlasting torments of Hell; thirdly, the mystery of the Most Holy
Trinity,-- that is, that in God there are Three Persons, Who are only One
God, because They have but One Essence; fourthly, the mystery of the
Incarnation of the Divine Word -- the Son of God, and True God, Who became
man in the womb of Mary, and suffered and died for our salvation.
Should a father or mother say, "I
myself do not know these mysteries," can such an excuse be admitted? Can one
sin excuse another? If you are ignorant of these mysteries, you are obliged
to learn them, and afterwards to teach them to your children. At least, send
your children to a worthy catechist. What a miserable thing to see so many
fathers and mothers, who are unable to instruct their children in the most
necessary truths of the Faith, and who, instead of sending their sons and
daughters to Christian doctrine, employ them in occupations of little
account, and when they are grown up, they do not know what is meant by
mortal sin, by Hell, or eternity. They do not even know the Creed,
the Our Father, or the Hail Mary, which every Christian is
bound to learn under pain of mortal sin.
"A father owes
two obligations to his children; he is bound to provide for their
corporal wants, and to educate them in the habits of virtue."
Religious parents not only instruct their
children in these things, which are the most important, but they also teach
them the acts which ought to be made every morning after rising. They teach
them first, to thank god for having preserved their life during the night,
secondly to offer to God all their good actions which they will perform, and
all the pains which they will suffer during the day, thirdly, to implore of
Jesus Christ and Our Most Holy Mother Mary to preserve them from all sin
during the day. They teach them to make, every evening, an examination of
conscience and an act of contrition. They also teach them to make every day,
the acts of Faith, Hope and Charity, to recite the Rosary, and to visit the
Blessed Sacrament. Some good fathers of families are careful to get a book
of meditations to read, and to have mental prayer in common for half an hour
every day. This is what the Holy Ghost exhorts you to practice. Do you
have children? Instruct them and bow down their neck from their childhood.
(Eccl. 7:25) Endeavor to train them from their infancy to these religious
habits, and when they grow up, they will persevere in them. Accustom them
also to go to confession and communion every week.
It is also very useful to infuse good
maxims into the infant minds of children. What ruin is brought upon children
by their father who teaches them worldly maxims! "You must," some parents
say to their children, "seek the esteem and applause of the world. God is
merciful, He takes compassion on certain sins." How miserable the young man
is who sins in obedience to such maxims. Good parents teach very different
maxims to their children. Queen Blanche, the mother of Saint Louis, King of
France, used to say to him: "My son, I would rather see you dead in my arms,
than in the state of sin." So then, let it be your practice also to infuse
into your children certain maxims of salvation, such as, What will it
profit us to gain the whole world, if we lose our own souls? Everything on
this earth has an end, but eternity never ends. Let all be lost, provided
God is not lost. One of these maxims well impressed on the mind of a
young person, will preserve him always in the grace of God.
But parents are obliged to instruct
their children in the practice of virtue, not only by words, but still more
by example. If you give your children bad example, how can you expect that
they will lead good lives? When a dissolute young man is corrected for a
fault, he answers: "Why do you censure me, when my father does worse?"
The children will complain of an ungodly father, because for his sake they
are in reproach. (Eccl. 41:10) How is it possible for a son to be moral
and religious, when he has had the example of a father who uttered
blasphemies and obscenities, who spent the entire day in the tavern, in
games and drunkenness, who was in the habit of frequenting houses of bad
fame, and of defrauding his neighbor? Do you expect your son to go
frequently to confession, when you yourself approach the confessional
scarcely once a year?
It is related in a fable, that a crab
on day rebuked its young for walking crookedly. They replied, "Father, let
us see you walk." The father walked before them more crookedly than they
did. This is what happens to the parent who gives bad example. Hence, he has
not even courage to correct his children for the sins which he himself
According to Saint Thomas, scandalous
parents compel, in a certain manner, their children to lead a bad life.
"They are not," says Saint Bernard, "fathers, but murderers, they kill, not
the bodies, but the souls of their children." It is useless for parents to
say: "My children have been born with bad dispositions." This is not true,
for, Seneca says, "You err, if you think that vices are born with us; they
have been engrafted." Vices are not born with your children, but have been
communicated to them by the bad example of the parents. If you had given
good example to your sons, they would not be so vicious as they are. So
parents, frequent the Sacraments, learn from the sermons, recite the Rosary
every day, abstain from all obscene language, from detraction, and from
quarrels, and you will see that your children follow your example. It is
particularly necessary to train children to virtue in their infancy, Bow
down their neck from their childhood, for when they have grown up, and
contracted bad habits, it will be very difficult for you to produce, by
words, any amendment in their lives.
To bring up children in the
discipline of the Lord, it is also necessary to take away from them the
occasion of doing evil. A father must forbid his children to go out at
night, or to go to a house in which their virtue might be exposed to danger,
or to keep bad company. Cast out, said Sarah to Abraham, this
bondswoman and her son. (Gen. 21:10) She wished to have Ismael, the son
of Agar the bondswoman, banished from her house, that her son Isaac might
not learn his vicious habits. Bad companions are the ruin of young persons.
A father should not only remove the evil which he witnesses, but he is also
bound to inquire after the conduct of his children, and to seek information
from family and from outsiders regarding the places which his children
frequent when they leave home, regarding their occupations and companions. A
father ought to forbid his children ever to bring into his house stolen
goods. When Tobias heard the bleating of a goat in his house, he said,
Take care, perhaps it is stolen, go, restore it to its owners. (Tobias
Parents should prohibit their
children from all games, which bring destruction on their families and on
their own souls, and also dances, suggestive entertainment, and certain
dangerous conversations and parties of pleasures. A father should remove
from his house books of romances, which pervert young persons, and all bad
books which contain pernicious maxims, tales of obscenity, or of profane
love. He should not permit his daughters to be alone with men, whether young
or old. But some will say: "But this man tutors my daughter; he is a saint."
The saints are in Heaven, but the saints that are on earth are flesh, and by
proximate occasions, they may become devils.
Another obligation of parents is to
correct the faults of the family. "Bring them up in the discipline and
correction of the Lord." There are fathers and mothers who witness faults in
the family and remain silent. Through fear of displeasing their children,
some fathers neglect to correct them, but, if you saw your child falling
into a pool of water, and in danger of being drowned, would it not be savage
cruelty not to catch him by the hair, and save his life? He that spares
the rod hates his son. (Prov. 13:24) If you love your children, correct
them, and while they are growing up, chastise them, even with the rod, as
often as it may be necessary.
I say, with the rod, but not
with a stick; for you must correct them like a father, and not like a prison
guard. You must be careful not to beat them when you are in a passion, for
you will then be in danger of beating them with too much severity, and the
correction will be without fruit, for then they believe that the
chastisement is the effect of anger, and not of a desire on your part to see
them amend their lives. I have also said, that you should correct them
while they are growing up, for when they arrive at manhood, your
correction will be of little use. You must then abstain from correcting them
with the hand, otherwise, they will become more perverse, and will lose
their respect for you. What use is it to correct children with injurious
words and with imprecations? Deprive them of some part of their meals, of
certain articles of dress, or shut them up in their room. I have said
enough. Draw from this discourse the conclusion, that he who has brought up
his children badly, will be severely punished, and that he who has trained
them in the habits of virtue, will receive a great reward.
"Please, I ask you mothers,
monitor your children's lives. Do not be an escapist, running from home and
finding pleasures of the world. Bring a prayer life back to your children before
it is too late. You will be held accountable for the fall of the souls of the
children. Therefore, I ask parents throughout the world--with love and good
leadership in the household, your children will not fall as prey to satan." - St. Theresa, June 18, 1991
DO NOT FALL DOWN
“Do not fall down in your job as a parent, for you will also be held responsible
for the condition of your children’s souls when they are brought to Us.” -
Our Lady, February 11, 1971
LACK OF DISCIPLINE AND TRUE DIRECTION St. Anne - "Oh, how sad to look upon the homes of earth! Whatever has become
of motherhood? Bad example, such poor example I see in many homes. You must
return to the simple life. The love of riches will destroy your souls.
"Involvement of the parents in worldly pursuits and living take them farther
from the graces of Heaven. The greatest offenses to the Father is the lack of
discipline and true direction of many parents on earth today. My children--"
Veronica - And Saint Anne is placing her hand out, like this.
St. Anne - "You still have time to make restitution and atonement, and to save
your children. You must bring them back to the Sacraments. You must be an
example of modesty and true faith to them. Children will learn much by your
example." - July 25, 1973
SPARE THE ROD, SPOIL THE CHILD Veronica - Now Saint Joachim is walking over; he's standing now between
Saint Anne and Our Lady. Now Saint Joachim is standing there. He has a long--it
looks like a rod in his hand. And he's standing there holding the rod up, and
St. Joachim - "In one hand you will hold the Book of life, and the other,
Veronica - And he's brandishing the stick, like this.
St. Joachim - "Humanism in your world has been created by satan. You will bring
back the adages of old of 'Spare the rod, and you will spoil the child.'
Discipline must be returned to the homes.”- July 25, 1973
DISCIPLINE AND TRUTH "All parents must set a strong example of faith in the home. Your children
are being subject to much error and much soul destruction outside your home.
Discipline and truth must be brought to the children. The greatest
responsibility for these children will be given to the parents. Guard their
souls well.” - Our Lady July 1, 1973
A HARD PRICE "Your children must be protected against the world, your world of evil.
Better that they starve their bodies than to starve their souls. The seeking of
worldly gain has sent many souls into hell. The example being shown in many
homes is abominable. Many parents will pay a hard price in the loss of the
Kingdom for their lack of discipline and proper direction of the souls entrusted
to them.” - Our Lady, May 10, 1973
"Man has lost his purity. All parents must guard the children's souls. Be firm
with your children. The fashions grieve all Heaven.
"The time is short, so you must make reparation now, and learn to recognize
the signs. You must be guided by the light. The Holy Spirit will always be with
you. Remain close to My Son. So many will be lost.” - Our Lady, August 5,
ALL ABOUT YOU "All about you, you see the disobedience of children. In your schools, your
government, your churches--where is the respect, the honor to your God?
"O you blind, foolish parents who do not recognize the products of your
laxity! The blow, it will be visited upon you; for as you sow, so shall you
reap. Yes, you parents are filling the bodies and minds with luxuries, but you
have chosen to starve the souls of your children. Your children are being led
farther into the darkness. We do not see the light ahead for them.” - Our
Lady, July 25, 1971
GROW MORE DISOBEDIENT AND ARROGANT “Children grow more disobedient and arrogant to parents. Man has lost the
true meaning of love and charity of neighbor.
"I counsel you all to take your Book of life, Bible, and become
knowledgeable of these latter days. The plan for the days ahead is covered quite
thoroughly in this Book of life.
"Man would find his way to the Kingdom if he would cast aside the soul
destroyers that he now has in his home, which destroy not only his soul but the
souls of innocent children. For the love of money, these soul destroyers flood
"The time will come, without your prayers and actions, when you will no
longer recognize sin as sin. You will become accustomed to sin as a way of life.
The numbers to be saved in the final count will be in the few.” - Our Lady,
July 15, 1973
FIRMNESS IS NEEDED
"I wish that all fathers of households stand forth and practice their role. They
will use the rod and not permit their children to go astray. Firmness is needed
in your world that is filled with laxity, permissiveness, and degradation.
"Your children have been misled by many who shall answer to the Father. As
teachers they have failed in their role. Therefore, as parents you must succeed
in yours.” - St. Joseph, March 18, 1973
STRONG DISCIPLINE AND LOVE "I have asked you, I have directed you, as your Mother, to retire--retire
from your world that has been given to satan. You must earn your daily bread by
living in the world, but you must not become of the world. Your children must be
guided with a strong discipline and love. But this love must be coming from the
light, My children, for so few cry love, and they have lost the true meaning of
love. For love is your God the Father in Heaven.” - Our Lady, September 7,
ONLY PATH "Man has set himself into the web of satan by straying from the path given
by the Father. Discipline, self-discipline, and obedience to the rules of God
are the only path." - Our Lady, November 24, 1973
encourage everyone to print or email copies of this web page to all the Bishops
and all the clergy. Also, email or send this web page to the news media
and as many people as possible.
"My children, My little humble children, I appeal to you as your Mother,
go forward on foot, knock on the doors; bring the light to your brothers and
sisters. For those who have been given great grace, much is expected of
them." - Our Lady of the Roses, May 26, 1976
"As disciples of the latter days, My children, much shall be asked of you,
but I assure you: all that you give in faith and charity shall be returned to
you threefold."- Jesus, June 1, 1978