Eternal Father, I know these children You have entrusted to me are not mine, but Yours. Thank You for the honor and privilege of being their parent and for the laughter, love, and purpose they bring to my life. I dedicate them to You, oh God. As their guardian, I give You complete reign over their hearts and mine. Let my children know you, Lord, as their true Father—a good, good Father who protects them, guards them, loves them, and provides all for them.
Lord Jesus, you see my children’s hearts in ways that I do not. You know the ways in which they are tempted to stray from You. Good Shepherd, I surrender these lambs into your tender and almighty care. Pursue them with the passion and jealousy of your Heart. Rescue them from the precipice and brambles that the enemy lures them toward. Jesus, King of Kings, take up your reign in the hearts of my children by whatever means you see fit.
Holy Spirit of God—Spirit of wisdom, knowledge, power, and peace—come and descend upon my children as in a new and personal Pentecost. Enflame them with the fire of your love that they may be set ablaze for the things of Heaven. Saturate the roots of their faith, oh Living Water, that they will bear good fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Mary Protectress of the Faith, take my children into Your Immaculate Heart, Refuge of Holy Love. I pray that they always know You as their true Mother and always feel Your love for them too. May they hear Your sweet voice in their souls; may they trust unwaveringly in Your guidance, and may they take shelter under your mantle in all their times of need.
I hereby entrust my children—mind, body, and soul—to the United Hearts of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Mother of God. Amen.
The Angel appeared and said to the young 14-year-old Mary, “Hail full of grace. The Lord is with you.” This is the only instance in the bible where an angel addresses someone by a title instead of a name—and the Greek word used here in the bible (kecharitomene) means that God has already graced Mary before this point. This shows that God had a plan for Mary (to be the Mother of His Son) and that He equipped Her and prepared Her for it prior to the moment. She accepted His Will. What an important role St. Joachim and St. Ann had in this plan! Through this mystery, we see that God has a plan for each of us and that He prepares us for it ahead of time. Blessed Mother Mary, give me the grace to recognize that my children were created for God, that they are gifted and crafted specifically for a God-ordained purpose and plan. Help me to cultivate their souls to receive this plan when the time is right. Help me to protect them from the vultures of Satan who seek to keep them from this plan. Mary, Protectress of the Faith, Refuge of Holy Love, come to their aid.
The young, newly pregnant Mary forgets Her own needs and goes to visit and serve Her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, who is much older. Mary is a light-bearer in her midst. Elizabeth recognized the presence of God within Mary and said, “Blessed is the Fruit of Your womb.” Elizabeth’s baby, John the Baptist (who was to herald the coming of Jesus), was sanctified in the womb of Elizabeth and leaped for joy within her. Just like Mary was “prepared” for her role from her conception, we see that John too was “prepared” for His role… in the womb of his Mother. Through this mystery, we see that God takes a special interest in children, from their youngest and earliest moments. We also see the importance of serving. Blessed Mother Mary, grant me the grace to forget my own needs and selflessly and joyfully serve my children so that I may be a light-bearer in their midst and an instrument of their sanctification. Mary, Protectress of the Faith, Refuge of Holy Love, come to their aid… and protect the unborn.
Mary and Joseph were doing their duty by traveling to Bethlehem for the census. But when it was time for Jesus to be born, they could not find lodging as there were no available rooms at the Inn. They were forced to settle in a stable with the animals and make His bed a manger. It was not what they expected or hoped, but it was as God willed. It was in humility and simplicity that God came into their family. Blessed Mother Mary, when doing my daily family duties, give me the grace to focus on what is important. Do not let me become so “worldly” as to obsess over all of the material things I want to provide for my children. Do not let me get side-tracked or distracted by the “look” of our home. Remind me that Jesus comes in simplicity and the acceptance of God’s will in the present moment… even if it is not what we expected or hoped for. Mary, Protectress of the Faith, Refuge of Holy Love, come to their aid.
Mary and Joseph obediently took the child Jesus to the Temple to present him to God, as was part of their custom. There, they met the prophetess Anna and the prophet Simeon, who revealed to them Jesus’ mission as well as Mary’s role in it. They received wisdom and knowledge for the sake of their child. Through this mystery, we see that God blesses faithful and obedient parents with special wisdom and knowledge regarding their children. Blessed Mother Mary, help me to seek the grace I need for this vocation in the Sacraments of the Church and in the spiritual guidance and direction of my superiors and pastors. Help me to be led by God through His ministers and representatives on earth and to be strengthened by the grace offered in His church. Do not let me neglect this most important help. Mary, Protectress of the Faith, Refuge of Holy Love, come to their aid.
The Finding in the Temple:
On this journey home from Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph assumed Jesus was with their group. They neglected to account for Him before leaving and accidentally left Him in Jerusalem. This discovery caused them great anxiety and heartache. They diligently searched for Him and found Him safe in the Temple. Through this mystery, we see the danger of “assuming” our children are with us on the journey home to Heaven. Blessed Mother, grant me the grace to fully understand and appreciate the responsibility I have in my child’s faith. Protect me from complacency. Help me to be diligent in their whereabouts (mind, body, and soul) and with whom they spend their time. Give me a revelation if they are falling behind. Do not let me arrive home in Heaven without them. Bring them safely with me to the gates of Paradise. Mary, Protectress of the Faith, Refuge of Holy Love, come to their aid.
St. Michael, the Archangel, exercise the power God has given you in defense of my children. You are Chief Price among angels and heavenly hosts. Confront their enemies, all those who surround them in the unseen realm. Wield the sword of the Spirit on their behalf, and hide them behind your shield of truth. Pour the precious blood of Jesus over them as an impenetrable armor. Take the love I have for them and use it as ammo against their foes. Summon their guardian angels and all of Heaven’s army to defend them in battle. Bring about a victory in the hearts of my children—and St. Michael, do all of this for their future spouses too. If they are called to the religious or single life, defend those souls who God has chosen to be their mentors, friends, and guides. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.