Devotion for February – The Holy Family
A pious practice among Catholics, is to write “✝ J M J ✝” often flanked by two Crosses at the top of letters, cards, documents and personal notes as a reference to Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the Holy Family.
Where it is written, “✝ J M J ✝” the writer appeals for the blessing and protection of the Holy Family.
O Gente Felix
O House of Nazareth The Blest
By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
O house of Nazareth the blest,
Fair hostess of the Lord,
The Church was nurtured at thy breast
And shared thy scanty hoard.
In all the spreading lands of earth.
The wandering sun may see
No dearer spot, no ampler worth
Than erst was found in thee!
We know thy humble tenement
Was heaven’s hermitage:
Celestial heralds came and went
In endless embassage.
There, whatsoever Joseph asks
Christ hastens to fulfil;
While Mary loves the household tasks
That wait her joyous will.
There, Joseph toileth at her side
Her joys and griefs to share,
With thousand ties knit to his bride,
Of love and work and prayer.
Yet how their bosoms constant burn
And deeper ardours prove
In love of Christ, whose eyes return
Tokens of mutual love.
O then, in all the homes of earth,
Be Love the bond of life:
May it enthrone at every hearth
The peace that husheth strife.
All praise to thee, O Jesus,
Who parents dost obey;
Praise to the sovereign Father
And Paraclete for aye.