Why You Should Be Blessing Your Children Every Day

Holy Water

Why You Should Be Blessing Your Children Every Day

Have you ever heard a priest use this blessing?

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

I love this. It’s called the Aaronic Blessing and it comes from Numbers 6:22-27. I love how God says Aaron (the High Priest and Moses‘ brother) should use it to “put my [God’s] name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

As a parent, you can use blessings too. Fathers and mothers have the spiritual authority to bless their children. Just like Aaron, you can put the name of the Lord on your kids so God will bless and protect them.

Recently I was speaking to a group of parents and mentioned how I bless my kids  with holy water every night. I got blank stares. “Do you bless your kids holy water?” I asked. Blank stares again. They’d never heard of it.

So I thought I’d write about it and tell you too.

How to bless your kids

To be honest, I heard about it from Jeff Cavins. In a talk he once mentioned using the Aaronic Blessing with his daughters everyday. I thought I should do that too.

Although, I um…never use the Aaronic blessing. It’s wonderful but a bit long (not that you shouldn’t use it if you’d like to). I have a simpler approach. I put some holy water on my thumb, trace the sign of the cross on their foreheads, and say, “God bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Quick and easy.

A few thoughts on holy water

Holy water is powerful stuff! St. Teresa of Avila loved holy water.

You see, she was often bothered by demons and sometimes could even see them. The name of Jesus usually worked to shoo them away, but sometimes it didn’t. When nothing else did the trick, she sprinkled holy water on them. Even the peskiest demons would flee.

You think there’s no demons trying to mess with you? Think again. As a Catholic parent, you should always have holy water handy. Bless your kid’s bed, windows, closet…everything! And especially bless them.

I don’t recommend the little ceramic holy water fonts. They’re pretty but the water evaporates too quickly and you’re left with a dirty residue at the bottom. The worst is when it’s almost out and you dip your finger into a gritty mess.

I use the standard plastic bottles that have a spout at the top and say Holy Water. You can get them really cheap at any Catholic bookstore and they work the best.

When should you bless them?

I bless my kids at night before they go to sleep. I’ve done that since they were both infants. They can’t remember a time when I didn’t do this, and even the 11 year old asks for it every night.

I thought they’d get tired of me using the holy water to bless them but it’s never happened. A few times I’ve even run out and just given them a “dry blessing.” They called me on it and asked for the water.

One thing I’ve never done, but want to start doing, is blessing them before they leave the house in the morning. It hit me lately that I should be calling down the Lord’s protection on them before they leave the safe-haven of home and go out into the big bad world. And that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it?

So parents, don’t neglect to exercise your spiritual authority and start blessing your kids. It’s quick, simple, and powerful. If it’s good enough for St. Teresa, it’s good enough for anyone.


Do you bless your kids with holy water? What do you think? Tell me about your experiences with blessings in the comments. If you’ve never done this with your kids, tell me know about how you plan to start.

Copyright 2013 Marc Cardaronella


About Author

Marc Cardaronella is the author of Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making It Stick from Ave Maria Press. Marc directs catechist and discipleship leader formation for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO. He is married, has two teen boys, and writes about Catholic spirituality and how to share the Faith on his personal blog.


  1. For as long as I can remember, we’ve blessed our children and each other anytime we leave the house or part ways with each other. It became second nature long ago. Our little ones have always blessed anyone else when they say goodbye to them or goodnight to them, as well–it is always very well received. But we rarely have holy water; we normally draw the cross on each other’s foreheads and say “God bless you”. We do have the ceramic fonts by each door, and yes, as you mentioned, the water evaporates very quickly! Still it is nice to use when we have it. I like the more official blessing too, I think it is very nice, especially if you have Holy water handy. But even our teens always give each other that little blessing when they part, simply out of love, with nothig more than their fingers.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Your family really has a culture of blessings! That’s awesome. You’re right, the more official blessings are nice but the quick ones like you’re talking about are great too.

    • I didn’t know I could but I will definitely start doing it with Florida water hope it works the same

  2. Missy Fillion on

    Thanks so much for this essay on praying over your children. I pray over my children every night. I ask for their angels and the saints to guide and protect them during the day and surround and protect them at night. To let nothing disturb their sleep and nothing come to them except through Jesus. I ask for every grace and blessing God has for them. I ask for any healing they need; physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. I ask Jesus to fill their hearts with his love and peace and joy.

    I have been doing this for a couple of years now. They don’t go to sleep without being prayed over. I started this after going to a healing prayer ministry and realizing how wonderful it feels to be prayed over. They get to feel what the Holy Spirit feels like in prayer.

    I have had parents ask me about this when I’ve mentioned it in groups I am a part of online. I love sharing this because it is so good for our family. I even put a chapter about it in my most recent book. I think parents don’t realize all the wonderful benefits to their family praying over children brings. Thanks for the idea of using Holy Water. I am going to start doing that.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      That’s beautiful! I pray a lot of those same things over my kids before bed as well. I think you’re right, parents don’t realize all the wonderful benefits praying for their children can bring. That’s why I love telling people about this and spreading the devotion as well. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I enjoyed reading this. My dad used to always make the sign of the cross over us and say,”May the Lord watch over you, bless you, and keep you in His care”. Then he would tuck us in for the night. I always felt so safe with that, and it never felt right w/0 out it. He didn’t use holy water, but I like that very much. Thanks for sharing–it was wonderful.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      You know, I never asked what my kids liked about me doing this but I bet it’s exactly that…it makes them feel safe and cared for. Thanks for telling me about your experience of this when you were a kid. That’s awesome!

  4. 3 things:
    1) Your oldest is 11?? How did that happen?! LOL
    2) I have never blessed them with holy water, except when sick (we had a bottle of Lourdes water at one point. I try to bless them nightly with the sign of the cross, but forget more often than I remember.
    3) How do you acquire Holy Water?

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Yeah, time flies huh? It seems like yesterday they were toddlers.

      I make the blessing part of their night time routine. That’s how I remember. When I tuck them in, I do the blessing. If you keep at it, eventually it will become like second nature. You can try to keep the holy water bottle in a prominent place, like their nightstand or bedside table, to remind you. When you go to put them in bed, there it is staring you in the face. You can’t forget that way.

      I get holy water at my church. They have large holy water dispensers at the entrance. Most churches have these. It’s kind of standard practice. Look for a large metal receptacle of some kind with a spicket at the bottom. They look kind of like the large water cooler things you see at sporting events…except holier looking.

      Hope that helps! I know you and your kids will enjoy doing the blessings.

      • Thanks 🙂

        Definitely seems like yesterday they were toddlers, and tonight MaryRose goes to her first Middle School Dance!

  5. Thanks Mark! One of my girls is very afraid of the dark right now and I am thinking she maybe can feel evil spirits more than some of the others. I have given her a blessed rosary to wear around her neck (we tried this with an older child and it was very effective and also comforting). I have been convicted to bless her nightly with holy water but haven’t started doing it yet. I have always prayed with the children and blessed them morning and night, and used to use blessed water or oil, but haven’t lately. This was a well-timed article for me, confirming what I should be doing.

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      Great to hear that the article the spot. It’s certainly possible that sensitivity to evil spirits is what’s bothering your daughter. I had a similar thing happen with one of mine. Holy water is definitely the answer for that. Try sprinkling it all around the room too.

  6. My parents, especially my Dad, have blessed me with holy water every night before bed and blessed me before leaving the house. On my wedding day, my Dad kissed me and gave me a blessing before sitting down in the pew. To this day, when my parents leave me from visiting, they give me a little blessing and a kiss. I passed this down to my babies as well. I LOVE it!

    • Marc Cardaronella on

      That’s too awesome that your dad blessed you before giving you away! Thanks for sharing that. I love it!

  7. My kids attend Catholic school and although they have daily prayers first thing in the morning, I bless them myself before entering the school. We walk the long way into school that passes the Holy Water font in the Church’s gathering space, and we dip our fingers in the Holy Water, each say “In the name of the Father, Son…..” and then I cross their foreheads again and say “May God be with you and protect you all day long” and then rush them through the doors before the bell rings! It helps me tremendously also to remind myself that God is watching out for them when I’m not there. 🙂

  8. That is awesome Sharon! I wish more Catholic school parents were like you. We have a school at our parish, and the church is right next to the playground…open. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any parents stopping in to bless their children before school. What a great idea and a great message that sends. I love that blessing too, “May God be with you and protect you all day long.” That’s fantastic. I’ll have to remember that one. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Thanks for this article. We have been blessing our children (and each other) for the past 2 years. It was an amazing priest who encouraged us to do so. We use blessed/exorcised oil instead of the Holy Water. We have holy water fonts in the house, and like you said, that water goes quickly! But the kids like having that around, too. Our 3 kids (ages 10, 6, and 5) really look forward to being blessed and I have found that when my husband blesses me, I sleep better! We also bless them when they don’t feel well or when there are tantrums. Try it! It works for that too!

  10. I have always blessed my children before they leave the house in the morning, I just don’t feel right if I don’t. Almost like I missed something.

  11. I am often amazed at how many things I take for granted as a Catholic-holy water being one of them. I’m going to refill my bottles all over the house have some handy every morning now.

  12. I have blest my three children almost every night for 15 years. They still ask for it. I have holy water on my bedside table. Thank you for this article. It is encouraging that there is a biblical basis for doing this and that I am not the only one doing it. TY!!+ JMJ

  13. Marc i may need your help here, i am getting strong feeling that there is demon or paranormal being active at my home for past 7 days now. And someone suggested usi g holy water. Can you guide me in this regard.

    • First, I want to reassure you that this can be real. We experienced a similar thing upon moving into a new home. My kids were hearing noises and some strange things happened. I would get this super creepy feeling in their room at night when I’d put them to bed. So, every night I went into their room after they were asleep, prayed over them, and sprinkled holy water everywhere…especially the closet. I got an eerie feeling from the closet and I flooded the closet with holy water.

      Eventually, I contacted a friend at the diocese and he knew about a deacon involved in deliverance ministry. I forget what the gift that he had was called but it was basically telling evil spirits to get out! He came to our house with a friend who had the gift of discernment. They went around the house discerning and expelling. They didn’t find anything really bad, but some stuff. The interesting thing was when the lady got to my kid’s closet, she said she could get absolutely nothing from it. The closet was completely blank! I confided that I practically fire hosed the closet with holy water for several weeks and she said that explained it. Holy water is powerful!

      So, I would definitely suggest using holy water all around the house, and see if there’s someone in your area who could come out and discern the spirits there. At the least, you could also have a priest come and do a special house blessing. That would help for sure. Sorry it took me so long to reply. Hope this helps. God bless!

  14. Ian Aspinall on


    Please could you give me some advice?
    All my life I have been a Christian, but not a very religious Christian. My parents went to church but they were never very religious. I however, have recently found Christ and want to follow his teachings seriously. However, my partners family are very religious and
    I have just become the dad of a little baby boy. Her family have a tradition of blessing their children on and she wants my to give him a blessing on Sundays because her father always blessed her. I feel honoured to do this, however, my parents seem to think people who are very religious are silly. I am worried about my families opinion on blessing our baby boy. Any advice??

    • Hi Ian,
      I’m not the author of the article, so pardon my jumping in.
      I don’t think you have to bless your child in a very public way, or in front of other people, if you are worrying about that. Simply trace a little cross on his forehead, perhaps the first time you are holding him every morning. If you and your partner want to bless the baby as a family custom, it’s a beautiful thing. Please don’t let worries about what someone else would think rob you and your child of a wonderful family tradition.
      Congratulations on your new baby!

  15. Ian Aspinall on

    Thankyou BARB SZYSZKIEWICZ. Your advice was very helpful.
    I know I don’t have to bless my child in a public way, that’s not what is worrying me. The problem is, as you may already understand, no-one else in my family is very religious and would be very surprised if they found out I was more religious than they are. They would think I was being ridiculous If I started talking about religion, praying, or if they heard me praying the words of a blessing over my new baby. i.e. ”May God bless you and protect you” etc. What I am worried about is their reaction to all of this if they heard me do it.
    I know I should not let them interfere, but it is difficult.

    Thank you

    • Ian,
      can understand the difficulty as I went through, and to a lesser degree, am still going through a similar situation. I know I cannot change others but I can be an example to others of what it means to walk with Jesus. Practicing humility, being last and working to set aside pride have been helpful to me. My wife has helped me be closer to God. In gratitude, and because I should, I work to honor her wishes regardless of comments my sisters make to me. She blesses her children (grown men with children of their own) and I have decided that I should follow her example of blessing others. That is what brought me here. I know God brought us together knowing how well we would work together to follow him.

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