Saint of the Day – 30 December – The Holy Family
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.