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A good example from Saint Richard: 

Saint Richard, sometimes called St. Richard the King or St. Richard the Pilgrim, and his wife Wunna are excellent intercessors for true success in parenting as all three of their children have been canonized as saints: Saint Willibald, Saint Winebald, and Saint Walburga.

On one occasion Richard was convinced by his son Willibald to go on a “pilgrimage for Christ.” In 720, Richard set off with his two sons for Rome, intending for the Holy Land to follow as the second of their holy destinations. After an unexpected illness, Richard died during the journey. His sons journeyed on.

In his “Modern Litany of Saints” author J. Dirnbeck writes the following about this holy English couple:

“You knew how to create a family atmosphere in which your children matured into adults who not only were hearers of the Good News but also became its messengers. Richard and Wunna, pray for us, that we will be concerned about how best to hand on our faith to the children of tomorrow.”

St. Richard taught his children how to live one’s earthly life as a pilgrimage to Heaven, our true homeland. A pilgrimage to a holy destination with his sons seems to be one good way that Richard effectively transmitted the message. All three of his children faithfully followed him all the way Home.

How will I apply this? (The Challenge):

Step 1: I will read Pope Francis’ homily about families on pilgrimage to the house of God.

Step 2: I will prayerfully ponder how to build into our family life a greater living sense of being together on an earthly pilgrimage to Heaven.

Step 3: I will seek a destination for a day or weekend family pilgrimage to help further transmit the truth of our identity as pilgrims toward Heaven and sons and daughters making our way Home.

Step 4: I will commit and follow through by taking my family on a day or weekend pilgrimage.

Some possible results:

  • I may better understand that true success in parenting is to lead my children to answer the universal call to holiness and set their hearts and lives upon God above all else – increasing my likelihood of fulfilling my greatest responsibility as a father.
  • I may better understand that true success in my own life is fidelity to God’s call above all else – further freeing me to forge faithfulness as my top priority.
  • I may help further foster a leaven for Heaven throughout our daily family life – increasing our ability to help one another to keep our eyes on the greatest prize: sharing life with the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – forever and ever.

Saint Richard, pray for us!