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The Feast of the Holy Family—Sunday, January 7, 2024

The Holy Family by Murillo
The Holy Family by Murillo

In the humble house of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sanctified their family life by the exercise of the domestic virtues (Collect). There they practiced, as the Epistle and Gospel tell us, charity, mutual help, respect, and obedience (Gospel). There also, they always found joy and peace in meditation and prayer in common.

Benedict XV, wishing to secure for souls the blessings flowing from meditations on the virtues of the Holy Family, and from their imitation, extended the feast to the whole Church.

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is considered the “true model of life” from which families can draw inspiration and know where to find help and comfort. The Feast of the Holy Family venerates the familial life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and invites the faithful to reflect on the virtues, love, and sanctity embodied within the Holy Family, serving as a model for all families. At its core, the feast emphasizes the humanity of Jesus and his upbringing within a family unit. Mary, chosen as the Mother of God, and Joseph, a righteous and devoted foster father, provided a nurturing environment for Jesus’ growth, protection, and education. Their lives were marked by obedience to God’s will, humility, and unwavering faith.

The Holy Family’s experiences, including their flight into Egypt and their everyday life in Nazareth, offer insights into coping with challenges, trust in God’s guidance, and resilience in the face of adversity. The feast calls for contemplation on the importance of family in the Christian faith and the significance of the family unit as the foundation of society. It encourages a deepened commitment to fostering love, understanding, and support within families, thereby strengthening the broader community. Ultimately, the lessons learned from the Holy Family can guide and nurture contemporary families in their journey towards spiritual growth, unity, and holiness.

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