Saturday, January 11, 2014
The Holy Family & Marriage
The Holy Family with the Little Bird, by Bartolome Esteban Murillo, c. 1650AD.
Tomorrow is traditionally the feast of the Holy Family -- the Sunday after Epiphany. In the reformed calendar of 1970AD, the Feast falls on the Sunday during the Octave of Christmas. Regardless, it seems, in these waning days of the Christmas season, an opportune moment to note something of this great model of family life.
"The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households began in the seventeenth century. It commenced almost simultaneously in Canada and France: -- the Association of the Holy Family being founded in Montreal in 1663, and the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674. Numerous other congregations and associations under the Patronage of the Holy Family have been established since that time, and they are spread over the world. The arch-confratenity was established by Bl. Pius IX in 1847. In 1893 Leo XIII approved a Feast for Canada, and Pope Benedict XV extended the Feast of the Holy Family to the whole Church and ordered its celebration to take place on the Sunday after the Epiphany." [Baronius Press Missal, pg. 244]
It is well to recall the collect of the Feast:
"O Lord Jesus Christ, who, being subject to Mary and Joseph, didst sanctify home life with ineffable virtues; grat that , with the aid of both, we may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family, and attain to eternal fellowship with them."
While the specific devotion to the Holy Family is of recent origin, certainly the members of the Holy Family, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Joseph well worthy of consideration as a family, and, indeed, give us a model of what family life should contain.
It is a wonder to ponder those words of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke, Chapter 2: "51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart."
For more, you would do well to check out this page: Fisheaters: Feast of the Holy Family
A consideration of the Holy Family naturally leads to a consideration of family and the Sacrament of Matrimony. You might consider:
Arcanum of Pope Leo XIII:
Casti Connubii of Pope Pius XI:
Familiaris Consortio of Pope John Paul II:
Of course, I should put in a mention of my own institution of employment, which proudly bear the title and patronage of the Holy Family: http://www.holyfamilyacademy.net/