I first read the Harry Potter series before converting to Catholicism and the Weasleys were my favorite family in the books (obviously). Imagine my delight when I discovered that they’re a big Catholic family! Well….OK, the books don’t come right out and say they’re Catholic but I think there’s some solid reasons to assume they are.
They’re open to life, even to the point of being criticized for having “more children than they can afford.” They’ve got seven kids and a home of chaotic family togetherness. They may only be able to afford secondhand robes and used school books, but they give their children a home of life and love. One might even call their childhood…magical.
They practice Catholic hospitality. Their home always seems to be a haven for the marginalized: orphans, half giants, you name it. If someone needs a home cooked meal, Molly Weasley’s on it. Their generosity requires sacrifice because they don’t have two pennies to rub together, but they always welcome anyone who needs a seat at their table.
Corporal works of mercy? The Weasley’s have them covered.
- They bury the dead. RIP Mad Eye.
- They feed the hungry. Especially when the hungry is Harry who’s being slowly starved by the Dursleys.
- They give drink to the thirsty. Remember when Molly has Tonks over to tea when she’s super depressed? So it’s not just physical thirst they aim to quench, either, the Weasleys are all about comforting the heartsick.
- They visit the imprisoned. Think Book 2 when Uncle Vernon traps Harry on Privet Drive and puts bars on the windows–which Fred, George, and Ron pry off with a little help from the flying Ford Anglia.
- They comfort the sick. Molly Weasley finds herself sitting next to many a hospital bed.
- They shelter all kinds of folks at the Burrow and at Grimmauld Place.
- And Molly has mad knitting skills to clothe your favorite naked orphan. Ok, so he wasn’t NAKED but he was wearing Dudley’s old hand-me-downs…close enough, right?
There’s some solid saints names in their family tree. Arthur, Ronald, Charles (Charlie), William (Bill), and George are all saints names. Molly is a nickname for Mary, Ginevra (Ginny) is a variation on Genevieve, and Fred is a nickname for Frederick. And shall we just assume Percy is named after Bl. Thomas Percy? Excellent. (UPDATE: clever commenters pointed out that Percy’s middle name is Ignatius! That’s a solid saint name if there ever was one.)
They’ve all got red hair. We’re talking big Irish Catholic family, right?
They keep chickens, they’ve got a garden. They mend and reuse instead of tossing and purchasing. It’s like they’ve got Laudato Si written all over them. No throwaway culture here, Pope Francis! No sir.
They pass on Christian virtues to their children. Who befriends that awkward friendless orphan? Ron. Who stands up for the weird, some might say “loony” girl in class? Ginny. Raise ‘em right.
Molly and Arthur are committed to their vocation of marriage. They are devoted to each other even in trial, suffering, and poverty. Even when they disagree. Even when one of them can’t stop enchanting muggle objects and hiding them in the chicken coop. #Mollywobbles+Arthur4EVAH
They are active members of the Order of the Phoenix at great personal risk. Nothing says Catholic like an underground resistance movement! Especially if participating might get you killed by the government. That’s kind of how we got started. #catacombs
So there you have it. While Rowling never says our favorite red heads are Catholic, I love how they model Christian virtue. And I admit to having many moments as a young mother wondering “What would Molly do?” The Weasleys are not perfect, but they show courage, hospitality, and charity in a way that inspires me to nurture those virtues in my own family. I’ll just keep thinking of them as fellow Catholics.