December 29, 2016

Feast of the Holy Family

The Holy Family

December 30, 2016

Scripture tells us practically nothing about the first years and the boyhood of the Child Jesus. All we know are the facts of the sojourn in Egypt, the return to Nazareth, and the incidents that occurred when the twelve-year-old boy accompanied his parents to Jerusalem. In her liturgy the Church hurries over this period of Christ's life with equal brevity. The general breakdown of the family, however, at the end of the past century and at the beginning of our own, prompted the popes, especially the far-sighted Leo XIII, to promote the observance of this feast with the hope that it might instill into Christian families something of the faithful love and the devoted attachment that characterize the family of Nazareth. The primary purpose of the Church in instituting and promoting this feast is to present the Holy Family as the model and exemplar of all Christian families.

Excerpted from With Christ Through the Year, Fr. Bernard Strasser, O.S.B.

Almighty God, who was pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal rewards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, and with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Prayer of Dedication to the Holy Family 

Lord Jesus Christ, being subject to Mary and Joseph, You sanctified family life by Your virtues. Grant that we, with the help of Mary and Joseph, may be taught by the example of Your Holy Family, and may enjoy its everlasting companionship.

Most loving Savior, look upon my family in Your loving kindness, preserve us from danger, give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in imitation of Your Holy Family, so that having revered You and loved You faithfully in this life, we may praise You eternally with Joseph & Mary in the next.

Lord Jesus, help us ever to follow the example of Your Holy Family, that in the hour of our death Your glorious Virgin Mother together with Saint Joseph may come to meet us, and we may be worthy to be received by You into the everlasting joys of heaven. Christ our King, You live and reign forever. Amen.

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