The family is the first line of defense in the Church and is the beginning of the roots by which the faith grows. This is why we hear so often and very rightly that the family is the Church at home. The home is where the members of our faith grow and learn before going out into the world to share the good news and live according to the precepts of the Church. This is why holy parenting is such an important part of living out the faith. A lot of times, when we hear about Catholic parenting, we mostly hear about mothers, as the first example of holy parenting that comes to mind is of course Our Blessed Mother. However, fathers are just as vital, but unfortunately much less talked about as parents. Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, and one of his lesser-known nicknames (ironically) is the Forgotten Saint.
Also known as the Silent Saint, there isn't much said about St. Joseph, in the Bible or anywhere else, really. And yet, scant attention from most aside, St. Joseph was the first person other than Our Lady to contemplate the Holy Mysteries of the Annunciation and the Incarnation, along with the Virgin Birth. He also had visions of angels himself and was given directions from God through them. Directions he followed obediently, even when he did not fully understand.
The biggest honor given to St. Joseph, even considering all of the above, was the gift of being the foster father to the Christ Child. This isn't talked about very much in the Bible, either, and St. Joseph died before Jesus reached maturity. However, this does not negate the importance of the time he spent on earth with Christ and Our Lady. Catholic men are given no better example than that of St. Joseph. He protected his wife in the most difficult of situations, overcame his emotions regarding the Annunciation, listened to the angel and brought his family to safety, and lived a life of virtue, always being present to his wife and to his son.
Even after St. Joseph is taken from the world, he lives on through his foster son. St. Joseph teaches Jesus how to work, how to treat His mother, and how to be a man. Jesus is referred to as "the carpenter's son" in Matthew. The influence St. Joseph had on Christ was visible even to the people around him.
Similarly, Catholic fathers have the same duty. To protect their families, to put aside fear and forge a holy path for their families, to be present to their wives, to be a virtuous example, and to do so in a way that is visible in the lives of their children so that the influence of a holy father might raise holy sons and daughters who go on to start their own families. In this way, the legacy of a holy Catholic father and a holy Catholic family is preserved throughout the Church. St. Joseph, pray for us!