The Christian Family is an Image of the Trinity
Man, the great work of creation, is made to the image and likeness of God. In the family that image reaches, if we may say so, a special grade of likeness to God, the divine mode, for just as the essential unity of the divine nature exists in there distinct Persons, consubstantial and coeternal, so the moral unity of the human family operates in the trinity of father, mother, and children. Conjugal fidelity and the indissolubility of marriage may appear contrary to the lower instincts of man, but they are in perfect conformity with his spiritual nature.
(Pius XII, To the recently married, June 1940)
Destined to Give the Kingdom of God New Citizens
New families, destined to provide for a future which is hidden in the mists of God's providence; destined to provide society with new citizens... and to feed the Church of Christ, since it is from these new families that she expects new sons of God, who will obey her laws. Destines, finally, to provide new citizens for the kingdom of heaven, when this mortal life is over.
(Pius XII, To the recently married, May 1942)
Home Life and Its Sacrifices
It is not surprising that the very walls of the home should hide acts of true heroism, and that the life of Christian spouses should also contain these same acts of heroism many times hidden from the eyes of the world, but nevertheless repeated day by day, in tragic and most difficult circumstances.
(Pius XII, To the recently married, August 1941)
The Mother in the Very Sun of the Family Life
The wife and mother is the very sun of the family; with her generosity and submission, her constant readiness, her delicate and providential attention to all that serves to bring happiness to the life of her husband and children. She spreads around her life and warmth... With her clear eye and the warmth of her words, which penetrate sweetly into the soul, overcoming it and softening it, calling her husband to the joys of virtue and the family life after a hard day's work...
(Pius XII, To the recently married, March 1942)
The Example of Nazareth
The humble home at Nazareth should be a model for the Christian home, The husband should learn from the labors of St. Joseph and also from his use of his authority; while the wife should learn from Mary, perfect model of all domestic virtues. The conclusion is that every Christian family is a school of sanctity. You must convince yourselves, beloved sons and daughters, that your new family can be and should be as a school of sanctity, united to God by grace. The very sacrament itself, which demands the indissolubility of the conjugal bond, gives you a supernatural strength against which all temptations and seductions will be impotent if you so wish it. The difficulties and the boredom of the daily round, the desire for novelty and change, the attractions of the forbidden fruit, will have no power over you if you only preserve that state of grace through prayer, penance, watchigs and care.
(Pius XII, To the recently married, November 1940)
For this, it is necessary that Mary should preside over Christian families, that there should be prayer —constant prayer— and there is nothing better for this purpose than frequent communion.
(Cf. Pius XII, To the recently married, June 1939; April 1940)
Prayer to be Recited by Members of a Christian Family
O Holy Family, Trinity of the earth, O Jesus, Mary and Joseph, sublime models and protectors of Christian families, to Thee do we have recourse, not only to find comfort in the sweet contemplation of Thy loving examples but also to implore Thy protection and to promise constant fidelity in the paths Thou hast pointed out to us.
Thy peace, your unalterable serenity refreshes our troubled souls in the midst of the continuous stress and strain of life's burdens. We are thus given eloquent proof that only in a home adorned and embellished with the virtues Thou hast exemplified can our hearts find the peace and happiness they so earnestly desire.
But how could such a tender plant as the family be defended against the burning heat of unbridled passions, against the insidious spirit of rebellion that asserts itself almost everywhere, against the raging storm of present-day life which seems bent on overthrowing everything? How else except by causing its roots to penetrate deeply into the noble soil of Christian piety; by imploring for it continuous streams of Divine grace, especially through the reception of the Holy Sacraments in common; by animating it with a true spirit of faith which will enable us to surmount the materialistic concept of life; by joining all its branches closely together through the strong bonds of a love which, were it not also supernatural, would pass away like all things here below; by strengthening it, from within through the firm resolution, made by each one, to fulfill our duties in everything that the right order of the family requires; by supporting it in the severe trials of this earthly exile where sometimes people are without even a decent home or suffer from a lack of the bare necessities of life.
In the midst of the present confusion of ideas with which minds are often disturbed, we loudly proclaim the sanctity, the unity and Divine mission of the Christian family as the cell of society and of the Church, and each at our post —parents and children— humbly but firmly pledge ourselves to do all in our power in order that such holy ideals may become a reality in the world.
Help us, O Joseph, mirror of the most admirable paternity in the diligent concern that thou didst manifest for the Savior and for the Virgin, ever faithful to the Divine inspirations; come to our aid, O Mary, the most loving, the most faithful and the most pure of all spouses and mothers; assist us, O Jesus, Who, as our light and model in all things, didst will to become the most submissive of children. Be always near to us, all ye three, in times of joy and in times of sadness, in our work and in our rest, in our anxieties and in our hopes, be near to those who are born and to those who die.
Finally, obtain for us that all homes, made holy through the imitation of Thine, may become for all their members schools of virtue, sanctuaries of holiness, a sure way to that eternal happiness which we confidently hope for through Thine intercession.
Pius XII, December 30, 1957