Celebrating the CHRISTMAS SEASON – 30 December: MEMORIAL of THE HOLY FAMILY
DAY SIX OF THE CHRISTMAS OCTAVE
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming. 1 John 2
John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”John 1
Jesus baptises us in the Holy Spirit.
His baptism prepares us for His coming among us
and it gives witness to His presence with us now.
May we remain in the One who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the One who promises us life.
I beg You, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see You in those around me
and welcome You into my heart
with the joy of celebration.
If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize You as my saviour
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.
I ask that You help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for Your incredible gifts to me, help me to appreciate my family; to live in peace with them and to treat them as You would’ve treated Your holy family: with love, respect and kindness.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“The Christian family is the first cell of the whole Church. It is the place where we begin the journey toward holiness and become more fully human. The Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, became one of us. He was born into a human family. That was neither accidental nor incidental. There, in what the late Pope Paul VI called the “School of Nazareth”, we can learn the way of love.
…….From antiquity the Christian family has rightly been called a “domestic church.” In our life within the Christian family Jesus Christ is truly present. However, we need the eyes to see Him at work, the ears to hear His instruction and the hearts to make a place for Him to dwell. In our family we can learn the way of selfless love by enrolling in the School of Nazareth.” …………..Deacon Keith Fournier
Holy Family Pray for all the Catholic Families of the World!
The importance of “please”, “thank you”, and “sorry” in families
“And I want to repeat these three words: may I, please, thank you, sorry. Three essential words! We say please so as not to be forceful in family life: “May I please do this? Would you be happy if I did this?”. We do this with a language that seeks agreement. We say thank you, thank you for love! But be honest with me, how many times do you say thank you to your wife and you to your husband? How many days go by without uttering this word, thanks! And the last word: sorry. We all make mistakes and on occasion someone gets offended in the marriage, in the family and sometimes – I say – plates are smashed, harsh words are spoken but please listen to my advice:
“don’t ever let the sun set without reconciling.”
Peace is made each day in the family: “Please forgive me”, and then you start over. Please, thank you, sorry! Shall we say them together? [They reply “yes”] Please, thank you and sorry. Let us say these words in our families! To forgive one another each day!”
Pope Francis (2013)
God sets a father in honour over his children; a mother’s authority He confirms over her sons…………… Sir 3:2
REFLECTION – Today, in the joyful atmosphere of Christmas, the Church, reliving with fresh wonder the mystery of Emmanuel, God-with-us, leads us to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth. From contemplation of this admirable model, the Church draws the values to hold up to the women and men of all times and all cultures………St John Paul
PRAYER – Holy Family of Nazareth, we pray for your help, that we may be granted the strength and courage to stand against all those who seek to destroy the life of traditional families. St Joseph, we pray too for your special intercession, as the Protector of the Holy Catholic Church. Amen (St John Paul)
Our Morning Offering – 30 December JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family.
Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace and mutual love
that You found in Your own family in the little town of Nazareth. MARY, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother,
nourish our family with your faith and your love.
Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys. JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardianand spouse of Mary, keep our family safe
from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety. HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH,
make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love,
strengthened by grace, may prove mightierthan all the weaknesses and trials through
which our families sometimes pass.
May we always have God at the centre of our hearts and homes until we are all one family,
happy and at peace in our true home with you.
The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honour of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. Since the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the feast is celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, the Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (both exclusive), or if both Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God are Sundays, on 30 December (always a Friday in such years). It is a holy day of obligation only if it falls on a Sunday.
The members of the Holy Family are the patrons of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Holy Cross Sisters are dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Cross Brothers to St. Joseph and the Priests of Holy Cross to the Sacred Heart. The Sons of the Holy Family is another religious congregation devoted to the Holy Family
A pious practice among Catholics is to write “J.M.J.” at the top of letters and personal notes as a reference to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family.
The feast was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893
There are few private devotions associated with this day, though the blessing of children by their parents, the renewal of marriage vows (even if just privately) and consecration of the family to the Holy Family are a few.
Consecration to the Holy Family
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Your teaching and example, willed to pass the greater part of Your life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to You this day. Please protect us, guard us and establish among us Your holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Your holy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.
Mary, dear Mother of Jesus, Mother of God and Mother of us all, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of your Son and obtain for us His graces and blessings.
O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by your prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Saviour Jesus the Christ, together with Mary and yourself, for all eternity. Amen.
Say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be three times.
The Holy Family (or the first Sunday after Christmas)
St Anysia of Thessalonica
St Anysius of Thessalonica
St Egwin of Worcester
St Elias of Conques
Bl Eugene of Milan
St Eugenia Ravasco
Bl Giovanni Maria Boccardo
St Hermes of Moesia
St Jucundus of Aosta
St Liberius of Ravenna
Bl Margaret Colonna
Bl Matthia dei Nazzarei
Bl Raoul of Vaucelles
St Raynerius of Aquila
Bl Richard of Wedinghausen
St Ruggero of Canne
St Sebastian of Esztergom
Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints)
Martyrs of Oia – (6 saints)
Martyrs of Spoleto – (4 saints)
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