Tag Archives: Holy Family

Holy Family of Nazareth


Not sure how much any one of us attend to the doctrine and liturgical feast of the Holy Family Nazareth. My suspicion is that unless prompted to pray to the Holy Family, we don’t. I admit that I don’t invoke their patronage too often. But, I will start. There is something important herewith the Holy Family that we all ought to attend to. Consider this excerpt from the Second Reading in the Office of Readings for today’s Feast of the Holy Family:

“Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,
bearing with one another and forgiving one another,  if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love,  that is, the bond of perfection.”

Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for my family, indeed for all Christian families.

Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization

Holy Family ABronzinoIn advance of the October 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops on Marriage and family, the “instrumentum laboris,” —the working document of 75 pages— offers a broad picture of the ways the Catholic Church witnesses to the Gospel and teaches and lives the moral life and the significant work that needs to be done to adequately address contemporary challenges. The office for synods published “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.

The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is the third of this category. One might say this is the first synod with such wide interest, international participation in the initial stages and hope for good work going forward.

The Pastoral Challenges of the Family” is based on the feedback and analysis requested from the national various Conferences of Bishops around the world late in 2013. So, besides the questionnaire, the document also incorporates the concerns of those who sent their reflections directly to the Pontifical Council for the family with the appropriate theological reflection. This is the first Synod for Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri.

The Holy Father has placed the work of the Synod under the patronage of the Holy Family. The Synodal prayer concludes the instrumentum labors.

The Holy Family of Nazareth: an ‘incomparable gift from God’

English: Holy Family, Mary, Joseph, and child ...

Today is the
feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s
Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go
to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time
Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when
his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”
(Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. “Luke, whose
Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear
… that Jesus’ family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to
understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise
matured” ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple
, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first
person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex
23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his
thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when
his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without
saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search
for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk
2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they
have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the
Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). “He – Origen writes –
professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed
Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son” (Homilies on the Gospel
of Luke, 18, 5).

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Holy Family

Holy Family JdeBray.jpg

God, who were 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.

Today is a fitting day to follow the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and mother. Of course, this applies to our living and deceased parents.

The consistent teaching of the Church, based on sacred Scripture and Tradition, tells us that the family is an irreplaceable contribution to the good of society. In an eminent
way the family, through responsible motherhood and fatherhood, and the spouses’ unique and singular participation in God’s work of co-creation. Pope Benedict XVI reminds that us that “the
natural family, as an intimate of life and love, based on marriage between a
man and a woman, constitutes ‘the primary place of humanization for the person
and society,’ and ‘a cradle of life and love'” (Message for the Celebration
of the World Day of Peace 2008).

The Holy Family

Holy Family, Rupnik 2007.jpg

This mosaic
of the Holy Family is located in the Chapel at the Saint Peter Canisius, the
Jesuit House of Writers located on the Borgo Spirito Santo, Rome. The mosaic is by Father Mark Rupnik,
S.J. and the artisans of the Centro Alleti (Rome) December 23, 2007. Father
Rupnik inspiration were the Contemplations on the Incarnation and the Nativity
from Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises.

In the Exercises we read about
the Nativity. “The first point is [for me] to see the persons, that is, to see our
Lady, and Joseph, and the servant girl (the ancilla, the handmaid), and the
infant Jesus after he is born, making myself a poor little fellow and unworthy
little slave boy, looking at them, contemplating them, and serving them in
their needs as if I were there present, with all possible respect and

A version of Father Rupnik’s Holy Family mosaic is found in the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights of Columbus, Supreme Council, New Haven, Connecticut. 

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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