Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MODESTY, QUOTES on the FAMILY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – On the Family by Pope Pius XII

Quote/s of the Day – 27 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – On the Family by Pope Pius XII

“Since God has given the family its existence,
its dignity, its social function,
it must answer to God for them.
Its rights and its privileges are inalienable …
It has the duty,
primarily, before God
and secondarily, before society,
to defend, to vindicate
and to promote effectively,
these rights and these privileges,
not only for its own good
but, for the glory of God
and the welfare of the community.”

“ … The family is not made for society;
rather, it is society, which is made for the family.”

“God did not create a human family
made up of segregated, dissociated,
mutually independent members.
No; He would have them all united
by the bond of total love of Him
and consequent self-dedication
to assisting each other
to maintain that bond intact.”

“Christian mothers,
if only you knew the future of distress and peril,
of shame ill-restrained,
that you prepare for your sons and daughters
in imprudently accustoming them,
to live hardly clothed
and in making them lose the sense of modesty,
you should be ashamed of yourselves!
and of the harm done the little ones
whom heaven entrusted to your care,
to be reared in Christian dignity and culture.”

“With good reason, it has often been pointed out
that large families have been in the forefront
as the cradles of saints.
We might cite, among others,
the family of St Louis, the King of France,
made up of ten children,
that of St Catherine of Siena
who came from a family of twenty-five,
St Robert Bellarmine,
from a family of twelve
and St Pius X from a family of ten.”

Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace ” Luke 2:29

One Minute Reflection – 27 December – Sunday within the Octave of Christmas and the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Readings: Genesis 15:1-621: 1-3Psalms 105:1-23-4,5-68-9Hebrews 11:811-1217-19Luke 2:22-40

“… he [Simeon] took him [Jesus] into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word…” – Luke 2:28-29

REFLECTION – “The Son came to the servant not to be presented by the servant but so that, through the Son, the servant might present to his Lord, the priesthood and prophecy that had been entrusted to his keeping. Prophecy and priesthood, which had been given through Moses, were both passed down and came to rest on Simeon. He was a pure vessel who consecrated himself, so that, like Moses, he too could contain them both. These were feeble vessels that accommodated great gifts — gifts that one might contain because of their goodness but that many cannot accept because of their greatness. Simeon presented our Lord and in Him he presented the two gifts he had, so that what had been given Moses in the desert, was passed on by Simeon, in the temple. Because our Lord is the vessel in which all fullness dwells, when Simeon presented Him to God, He poured out both of these upon him – the priesthood from his hands and prophecy from his lips. The priesthood had always been on Simeon’s hands, because of ritual purifications. Prophecy, in fact, dwelt on his lips because of revelations. When both of these saw the Lord of both of these, they were combined and were poured into the Vessel that could accommodate them both, in order to contain Priesthood, Kingship and Prophecy.
That Infant who was wrapped in swaddling clothes by virtue of His goodness, was also dressed in Priesthood and Prophecy by virtue of His Majesty. Simeon dressed Him in these and presented Him to the One who had dressed Him in swaddling clothes. Then, as the old man returned Him to his mother, he returned the Priesthood with Him. And when he prophesied to her about Him: “This child is destined for the downfall and rising,” he gave her Prophecy with him as well.
So Mary took her firstborn and left. Although He was visibly wrapped in swaddling clothes, He was invisibly clothed with Prophecy and Priesthood. Thus, what Moses had been given, was received from Simeon and it remained and continued with the Lord of these two gifts. The former steward and the final treasurer handed over the keys of Priesthood and Prophecy, to the One in authority over the treasury of both of these. This is why His Father gave Him the Spirit without measure because all measures of the Spirit are under His hand. And to indicate that He received the keys from the former stewards, our Lord said to Simon, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Now how could He give them to someone unless He had received them from someone else? So the keys He had received from Simeon the Priest, he gave to another Simeon, the Apostle. So even though the Jewish nation did not listen to the first Simeon, the Gentile nations would listen to the other Simeon.” – St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church – Homily on Our Lord, 53

PRAYER – God, our Father, in the Holy Family of Nazareth, You have given us the true model of a Christian home. Grant, that by following Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their love for each other and in the example of their family life, we may come to Your home of peace and joy. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, now and forever, amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, Feast of the Holy Family +2020, of St John the Apostle and Evangelist and Memorials of the Saints – 27 December

Sunday within the Octave of Christmas

Feast of the Holy Family +2020:
Today’s Feast is held on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day. If both are Sundays, the Feast is celebrated on 30 December.

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/29/feast-of-the-holy-family-of-jesus-mary-and-joseph-fifth-day-of-the-christmas-octave/

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/30/feast-of-the-holy-family-of-jesus-mary-and-joseph-30-decembe/

https://anastpaul.com/2017/12/31/31-december-feast-of-the-holy-family-and-the-seventh-day-of-the-octave/

Today is the Feast day of the Holy Family but also every family’s feast day, since the Holy Family is the Patron and model of all Christian families. Today should be a huge family feast, since it is devoted entirely to the Holy Family as a model for the Christian family life. As Rev. Edward Sutfin states:

“The children must learn to see in their father the foster-father St. Joseph, and the Blessed Mother as the perfect model for their own mother. The lesson to be learned is both practical and theoretical, in that the children must learn how to obey and to love their parents in thought, word and action, just as Christ was obedient to Mary and Joseph. Helping mother in the kitchen and in the house work, and helping father in his odd jobs about the home thus take on a new significance by being performed in a Christ-like spirit.” (True Christmas Spirit, ©1955, St Meinrad Archabbey, Inc.)

St John the Apostle and Evangelist (Feast)
St John the Beloved:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/saint-of-the-day-27-december-st-john-the-apostle-and-evangelist/

Bl Adelheidis of Tennenbach
Bl Alejo Pan López
Bl Alfredo Parte-Saiz
Bl Christina Ebner
St Fabiola (Died 399)
St Fabiola’s Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/27/saint-of-the-day-27-december-st-fabiola-died-399/
Bl Francesco Spoto
Bl Hesso of Beinwil
St José María Corbin-Ferrer
St Maximus of Alexandria
St Nicarete of Constantinople
Bl Odoardo Focherini
Bl Raymond de Barellis
Bl Roger of Verdun
Blessed Sára Schalkház S.S.S. (1899–1944) Martyr
Biography of Blessed Sára:

https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/27/saint-of-the-day-27-december-blessed-sara-salkahazi-s-s-s-1899-1944-martyr-a-catholic-gem/
St Theodore of Apamea
St Theophanes of Nicaea
Bl Walto of Wessobrünn

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, FRANCISCAN OFM, PAPAL HOMILIES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Bless Your Children!

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

I am most grateful for my upbringing in a truly Catholic family, not one exit was made by the children without a blessing by our parents.   This is such an important and vital element in our daily lives as Catholic families.   And you too, parents, as you exit and enter your homes, bless yourselves with the Sign of the Cross – have a Holy Water Font at your doors – habits are formed by action – start today!bless your children - pope francis - 29 dec 2019.jpg

Bless Your Children
Pope Francis

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
27 December 2015

“How important it is for our families to journey together towards a single goal!   We know that we have a road to travel together, a road along which we encounter difficulties but also enjoy moments of joy and consolation.   And on this pilgrimage of life we also share in moments of prayer.

What can be more beautiful, than for a father and mother, to bless their children at the beginning and end of each day, to trace on their forehead the Sign of the Cross, as they did on the day of their Baptism?   Is this not the simplest prayer which parents can offer for their children?   To bless them, that is, to entrust them to the Lord, just like Elkanah and Anna, Joseph and Mary, so that He can be their protection and support throughout the day.

In the same way, it is important for families to join in a brief prayer before meals, in order to thank the Lord for these gifts and to learn how to share what we have received with those in greater need.   These are all little gestures, yet they point to the great formative role played by the family in the pilgrimage of everyday life.”

grace before meals - 29 dec 2019 - holy family feast .jpg

The Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord
and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive
from Thy bounty,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen

grace after meals - 29 dec 2019 - holy family feast.jpg

The Grace After Meals

We give Thee thanks,
Almighty God,
for all Thy gifts,
almighty God,
living and reigning
now and forever.
Amen

I learnt this Capuchin Grace Before a Meal from Fr Raneiro Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household:

Lord, bless this food
that we are about to receive
from Your bounty.
Help us to provide
for those who do not have any
and make us partakers one day
in Your heavenly banquet,
through Christ, our Lord,
amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The FLIGHT into EQYPT, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14, Psalm 128:1-5, Colossians 3:12-21, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. … Matthew 2:14joseph rose and took the child and his mother - matthew 2 14.jpg

REFLECTION – “An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph and warned him that Herod was seeking the Child Jesus’ life:  “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt”.   Jesus had hardly been born before he was being persecuted to the death. (…)  Joseph obeyed the angel’s voice without delay and warned his holy wife.   He took such poor tools as he could carry so that he might have the wherewithal to carry on his work in Egypt and have something with which to maintain his little family.   Mary, for her part, gathered together in a bundle the necessary linen for her divine son, then, going to the cradle where He was lying, she went down on her knees, kissed the feet of her beloved child and, weeping tears of tenderness, said to Him:  “Oh my son and my God, You have come into the world to save humankind yet You have scarcely been born and they seek to kill You!”   Then she took Him in her arms and, as they wept, the holy couple shut the door and set out through the night. (…)

Beloved Jesus, You are the king of heaven and now I see You in the likeness of a child, wandering in exile.   Tell me, who are You looking for?   I am moved with compassion when I see Your poverty and humiliation.   But what distresses me, even more deeply, is the complete ingratitude with which I see You being treated by the very ones You came to save.   You weep and I weep too for being one of those who have despised and persecuted You.   Yet know, that I would now prefer Your grace to all the kingdoms of the world.

Forgive me all the harm I have caused You.   On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms during the flight to Egypt.   Beloved Redeemer, I have often cast You out of my soul but now, I trust You have repossessed it.   I beseech You, bind it closely to Yourself with the sweet bonds of Your love.” … St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Doctor of the Church – Meditations for the Octave of the Epiphany, no. 3on the journey of this life to eternity - st alphonsus liguori 29 dec 2019 holy family feast no 2

PRAYER – O Most merciful Infant Jesus, I give You thanks for all that You suffered for me. O my sweetest Love, I am sorry that I have offended You.   I desire to be always faithful in Your service.   Fill my heart with Your love.   O Mary, grant that I may belong entirely to you and your Son, Jesus. Amen – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)holy family pray for us 29 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, St JOSEPH, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The HOLY EUCHARIST, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

981px-THE HOLY FAMILY V LG Cathedral_Dili_window.jpgFeast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honour to His family.   Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honour to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, that would be safeguarded by His family.the holy family.jpg

We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family.   He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them.   This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary and not only to Mary but Joseph also, for Mary’s sake [….].   God obeyed a human creature, this is humility without precedent.   A human creature commands God, it is sublime beyond measure.’   (First Homily on the ‘Missus Est’).Polidoro_da_Lanciano_Holy_Family_with_Angel just amazing

Today’s celebration demonstrates Christ’s humility and obedience with respect to the fourth commandment, whilst also highlighting the loving care that His parents exercised in His keeping.   The servant of God, St Pope John Paul II, in 1989, entitled his Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Redemptoris Custos’ (Guardian of the Redeemer) which was dedicated to the person and the mission of Saint Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.   After exactly a century, he resumed the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, for who Saint Joseph ‘.. shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men’  (Encyclical Quamquam Pluries [1889] n. 3).   Pope Leo XIII continued, ‘.. Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.[…]   It is, then, natural and worthy, that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.’   Not many years before, blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed Saint Joseph, ‘Patron of the Catholic Church’ (1870)415px-The_Holy_Family_-_Rafael

Almost intuitively, one can recognise that the mysterious, exemplary, guardianship enacted by Joseph was conducted firstly, in a yet more intimate way, by Mary. Consequently, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family speaks to us of the fond and loving care that we must render to the Body of Christ.   We can understand this in a mystical sense, as guardians of the Church and also in the Eucharistic sense.   Mary and Joseph took great care of Jesus’ physical body.   Following their example, we can and must take great care of His Mystical Body, the Church, and the Eucharist which He has entrusted to us.   If Mary was, in some way, ‘the first tabernacle in history’ (John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 55) then we, the Tabernacle in which Our Lord chose to reside in person, in His Real Presence, was also entrusted to us.   We can learn from Mary and Joseph! What would they ever have overlooked in the care of Jesus’ physical body?   Is there something, therefore, that we can withhold for the right and adoring care of His Eucharistic Body?   No amount of attention, no sane act of love and adoring respect, will ever be too much!   On the contrary, our adoration and respect will always be inferior to the great gift that comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection, and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer.   We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and the lack of respect that are committed in front of the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.

From the Congregation for the Clergymichelangelo_donitondo_holy family grt

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave +2019 and Memorials of the Saints – 29 December

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave +2019

Scripture tells us practically nothing about the first years and the boyhood of the Child Jesus.   All we know are the facts of the sojourn in Egypt, the return to Nazareth and the incidents that occurred when the twelve-year-old boy accompanied His parents to Jerusalem.   In her liturgy the Church hurries over this period of Christ’s life with equal brevity.   The general breakdown of the family, however, at the end of the past century and at the beginning of our own, prompted the Popes, especially the far-sighted Leo XIII, to promote the observance of this feast with the hope that it might instil into Christian families something of the faithful love and the devoted attachment that characterise the family of Nazareth.   The primary purpose of the Church in instituting and promoting this feast is to present the Holy Family as the model and exemplar of all Christian families. … (Excerpted from With Christ Through the Year, Rev. Bernard Strasser, O.S.B.)

The feast of St Thomas Becket, which is ordinarily celebrated today, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

2017:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/12/31/31-december-feast-of-the-holy-family-and-the-seventh-day-of-the-octave/

2018:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/30/feast-of-the-holy-family-of-jesus-mary-and-joseph-30-decembe/

St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/saint-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/29/saint-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170-martyr-archbishop-of-canterbury/

St Aileran of Clonard
St Albert of Gambron
St Aproniano de Felipe González
St David the King
St Ebrulf of Ouche
St Enrique Juan Requena
St Florent of Bourges
Bl Francis Ruiz
St Girald of Fontenelle
St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
Bl José Aparicio Sanz
Bl José Perpiñá Nácher
St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
St Libosus of Vaga
St Marcellus the Righteous
St Martinian of Milan
Bl Paul Mary
Bl Peter the Venerable
St Quartillosa of Carthage
St Thaddeus of Scythia
St Trophimus of Arles
St Trophimus of Ephesus
Bl William Howard (1614–1680) Martyr

Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are eight names – Crescentius, Dominic, Honoratus, Lybosus, Primian, Saturninus, Secundus and Victor.

Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are three names – Boniface, Callistus and Felix.

Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints): Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea.
A group of seven lay woman in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were martyred together.
• Barbara Cho Chung-I
• Barbara Ko Sun-I
• Benedicta Hyong Kyong-Nyon
• Elisabeth Chong Chong-Hye
• Magdalena Han Yong-I
• Magdalena Yi Yong-Dok
• Petrus Ch’oe Ch’ang-Hub
They were born in South Korea and were martyred by beheading on 29 December 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. They were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Aproniano de Felipe González
• Blessed Enrique Juan Requena
• Blessed Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – The family is called to become a daily offertory

Sunday Reflection – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“Actually, the experience of the family is called to become a daily offertory, as a holy offering to God, a gift of pleasing fragrance.
The Gospel of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, suggests us this same idea.
Jesus, the light of the world but also “a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:32.34), desires to receive this offering of each family as He receives the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
He wants to join to the bread and wine destined to transubstantiation,
these human hopes and joys but also the inevitable sufferings and preoccupations of each family,
by incorporating them to the mystery of His Body and his Blood.
He then in turn gives them back – the same Body and Blood – in the communion,
as a source of spiritual energy,
not only for each single person but also for each family.”

St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)the experience of the family - st pope john paul 30 dec 2018

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the FAMILY, SAINT Pope PAUL VI, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 30 December – St Pope Paul VI – The School of Nazareth

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Saint Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)
Bishop of Rome

An excerpt from Nazareth (Homily)

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Nazareth is a kind of school where we may begin to discover what Christ’s life was like and even to understand His Gospel.   Here we can observe and ponder, the simple appeal of the way God’s Son came to be known, profound yet full of hidden meaning.   And gradually, we may even learn to imitate Him.

Here we can learn to realise who Christ really is.   And here we can sense and take account, of the conditions and circumstances that surrounded and affected His life on earth – the places, the tenor of the times, the culture, the language, religious customs, in brief, everything which Jesus used to make Himself known to the world.   Here everything speaks to us, everything has meaning.   Here we can learn the importance of spiritual discipline for all who wish to follow Christ and to live by the teachings of His Gospel.

How I would like to return to my childhood and attend the simple yet profound school that is Nazareth!   How wonderful to be close to Mary, learning again the lesson of the true meaning of life, learning again God’s truths.   But here we are only on pilgrimage. Time presses and I must set aside my desire to stay and carry on my education in the Gospel, for that education is never finished.   But I cannot leave without recalling, briefly and in passing, some thoughts I take with me from Nazareth.

First, we learn from its silence.   If only we could once again appreciate its great value. We need this wonderful state of mind, beset as we are by the cacophony of strident protests and conflicting claims so characteristic of these turbulent times.   The silence of Nazareth should teach us, how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of His true teachers.   Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life and of silent prayer that is known only to God.

Second, we learn about family life.   May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be.   May it show us the family’s holy and enduring character and exemplify its basic function in society – a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings, in sum, the perfect setting for rearing children—and for this there is no substitute.

Finally, in Nazareth, the home of a craftsman’s son, we learn about work and the discipline it entails.   I would especially like to recognise its value—demanding yet redeeming—and to give it proper respect  . I would remind everyone, that work has its own dignity.   On the other hand, it is not an end in itself.   Its value and free character, however, derive not only from its place in the economic system, as they say but rather from the purpose it serves.

In closing, may I express my deep regard for people everywhere who work for a living. To them I would point out their great model, Christ their brother, our Lord and God, who is their prophet in every cause that promotes their well-being.

Holy Family of Nazareth, Pray for Us!holy-fam-pray-for-us-31 dec 2016

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES on the FAMILY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Quote/s of the Day – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world
be welcomed by the warmth of a family!
External comforts do not matter,
Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as His first cradle
but the love of Mary and of Joseph made Him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved.
Children need this, the love of their father and mother.
It is this that gives them security and, as they grow,
enables them to discover the meaning of life.
The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials ….
Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability
and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.”

Pope Benedict XVI (Feast of the Holy Family 2010)how-important-it-is-therefore-pope-benedict-31-dec-2017

“Waste time with your children,
so that they can realise,
that love is always free.”

Pope Franciswaste time with your childen - pope francis - 30 dec 2018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Nazareth Prayer for the Family

Our Morning Offering – 30 December – Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.   This is a very appropriate prayer as the Church focuses on Family Life.

Nazareth Prayer for the Family
By St Mother Teresa(1910-1997)

Heavenly Father,
You have given us the model of life
in the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to make our family another Nazareth
where love, peace and joy reign.
May it be deeply contemplative,
intensely eucharistic, received with joy.
Help us to stay together in joy
and sorrow in family prayer.
Teach us to see Jesus
in the members of our families,
especially in their distressing disguise.
May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus
make our hearts humble like His
and help us to carry out our family duties
in a holy way.
May we love one another
as God loves each one of us,
more and more each day,
and forgive each others faults
as You forgive our sins.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to take whatever You give
and give whatever You take with a big smile.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
cause of our joy, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels,
be always with us,
guide and protect us.
Amen.nazareth prayer for the family - st mother teresa - 5 september 2-018

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 30 December

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – 30 December

The Feast of the Holy Family is dedicated to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, commemorating their life together in Nazareth and calling us to focus on Catholic family life.   The feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after Christmas since it was placed on the general calendar in 1921 by Pope Benedict XV.

HOLY FAMILY

The Church presents the Holy Family to us as a model for our own family life.   Joseph was the head of the Holy Family and provided for Mary and Jesus with the work of his hands.   He was obedient to the angel who told him to take Mary as his wife, what to name the new child and again when told to flee with them to Egypt.   He taught Jesus the carpentry trade and what it was to be a man in the society in which they lived.Holy Family carl muller close up

Mary took care of her family in the home.   It was she who would have taught Jesus the Scriptures and prayers of their people when he was very young.   It was through her example of managing the home, that Jesus would formulate many of the examples he would later use in his teaching.   Jesus saw work sanctified through the example of his earthly parents, who did all things well in the ordinary circumstances of daily life.

As far back as St John Chrysostom (347-407), Christians were urged to make of their home a family church in which the family members would find their sanctification.   That was to be accomplished by putting Christ at the centre of all individual and family life, by working and praying together, reading the Scriptures and worshipping as a unit.Claudio Coello HOLY FAMILY

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio, (60) St Pope John Paul said:  “Do you teach your children the Christian prayers? Do you prepare them, in conjunction with the priests, for the sacraments that they receive when they are young – Confession, Communion and Confirmation? Do you encourage them, when they are sick, to think of Christ suffering, to invoke the aid of the Blessed Virgin and the saints? Do you say the family Rosary together…? Do you pray with your children, with the whole domestic community, at least sometimes? Your example of honesty in thought and action, joined to some common prayer, is a lesson for life and an act of worship of singular value. In this way you bring peace to your homes: Pax huic domui. Remember, it is thus that you build up the Church.”

In 2002, St Pope John Paul II stated in his Angelus homily of 29 December “Every Christian family is called to show “convincingly that it is possible to live marriage fully in keeping with God’s plan and with the true good of the human person – of the spouses, and of the children who are more fragile” (Novo Millennio ineunte).

“A united family that follows these principles will more easily overcome the trials and difficulties it encounters on its way.   In the faithful love of the parents, a gift ceaselessly to foster and safeguard, children can find the best conditions for their growth, helped by Jesus who “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man” (Lk 2:52).”holy-family10-SIMON VOUET

Catholics are encouraged to learn what the Church teaches about marriage and family life and to avoid those things which run counter to God’s plan.   Catholic family life, then, would exclude such acts as artificial contraception, abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexual activity, reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and divorce.

It is within the family that human life in all its stages is nurtured and protected, where concern for others is learned and where the virtues are developed for the good of the individual, the family, and the society.HOLY FAMILY DEATH OF ST JOSEPH

The Holy Family feast is a good time to remember the family unit and pray for our human and spiritual families.   We also may take this feast to reflect on the value and sanctity of the family unit and to evaluate our own family life.   What ways may it be improved?   What would Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do?   Finally, we can use this feast to ask ourselves what are we doing to promote the family within our own cultures, neighbourhoods and communities.   (In Conversation with God Vol 1).BEAUTIFUL HOLY FAMILY CHRIST CHILD WITH CROSS

Last year’s post:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/31-december-feast-of-the-holy-family-and-the-seventh-day-of-the-octave/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Sermon of Saint Bernard for the Feast of the Holy Family
(1090-1153) – Doctor of the ChurchVision of St. Bernard_Munich, AP_1493.Perugino, Virgin Appearing to St. Bernard Italian, 1493holy-family41with st bernard

In Mary we praise that which places her above all others, that is, fruitfulness of offspring together with virginity.   For never has it been known in this world that anyone was at the same time mother and virgin.   And see of Whom she is mother.   Where does your astonishment at this so wondrous dignity lead you?   Is it not to this, that you may gaze in wonder yet never sufficiently revere?   Is she not in your veneration, nay, in the esteem of Truth itself, raised above choirs of angels?   Does not Mary address the Lord and God of all the angels as Son, saying: Son, why hast thou done so to us?

Who among the angels may thus presume?   It is enough for them and for them their greatest honour, that while they are spirits by nature they have become and are called angels, as David testifies:  Who makest thy angels spirits. [Ps. 103: 4] Mary, knowing herself mother, with confidence calls that Majesty Son Whom the angels in reverence serve.   Nor does God disdain to be called that which He disdained not to be.   For the Evangelist adds a little later:   He was subject to them.

Who was subject to whom?   A God to men.   God, I repeat, to Whom the angels are subject:   Whom principalities and powers obey:   was subject to Mary and not alone to Mary but to Joseph also, because of Mary.   Admire and revere both the one and the other and choose which you admire the more, the most sweet condescension of the Son, or the sublime dignity of the Mother.   For either am I at a loss for words, for both are wondrous.   For that God should obey a woman is humility without compare and that a woman should have rule over God dignity without equal.   In praise of virgins is it joyfully proclaimed, that they follow the lamb withersoever he goeth. [Apoc. 14: 4]   Of what praise shall you esteem her worthy who also goeth before Him?

Learn, O Man, to obey.   Learn, O Earth, to be subject.   Learn, O Dust, to submit.   The Evangelist in speaking of thy Maker says:   He was subject to them, that is, without doubt, to Mary and to Joseph.   Be you ashamed, vain ashes that you are.   God humbles Himself, and do you exalt yourself?   God becomes subject to men and will you, eager to lord it over men, place yourself above your Maker?   O would that God might deign to make me, thinking such thoughts at times in my own mind, such answer as He made, reproving him, to His apostle:  Go behind Me, Satan: because thou savourest not the things that are of God. [Mark 8: 33]

For as often as I desire to be foremost among men, so often do I seek to take precedence of God and so do I not truly savour the things that are of God.   For of Him was it said and he was subject to them. If you disdain, O Man, to follow the example of a Man, at least it will not lower thee to imitate thy Maker.   If perhaps you cannot follow Him wheresoever He goeth, at least follow in that wherein He has come down to you.

If you are unable to follow Him on the sublime way of virginity, then follow God by that most sure way of humility, from whose straitness should some even from among the virgins go aside, then must I say what is true, that neither do they follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth .  He that is humble, even though he be stained, he follows the Lamb so too does the proud virgin but neither of the two whithersoever He goeth: because the one cannot ascend to the purity of the Lamb that is without stain, nor will the other deign to come down to the meekness of the Lamb, Who stood silent, not merely before the shearer but before the one that put Him to death.   Yet the sinner who makes after Him in humility, has chosen a wholesomer part than the one that is proud in his virtue, since the humble repentance of the one washes away uncleanness but the pride of the other contaminates his own virtue.

Truly blessed was Mary who possessed both humility and virginity.   And truly wondrous the virginity whose fruitfulness stained not but adorned her and truly singular the humility, which this fruitful virginity has not troubled but rather exalted and wholly incomparable the fruitfulness which goes hand in hand with her humility and her virginity.   Which of these things is not wondrous?   Which is not beyond all comparison? Which that is not wholly singular?   It would be strange if you did not hesitate to decide which you regard as most worthy of praise: whether the wonder of fruitfulness of offspring in virginity, or of virginal integrity in a mother, sublimity of Offspring, or humility joined to such dignity, unless it be that we place both together above each one singly and it is truly beyond any doubt more excellent and more joyful to have beheld these perfections united in her, than to see but one part of them.

And can we wonder that God, of Whom it is written that He is wonderful in his saints,[Ps. 67: 36] shows Himself in His own Mother yet more wondrous still.   Venerate then, Ye spouses, this integrity of flesh in our corruptible flesh.   Revere likewise, Ye virgins, fruitfulness in virginity.   Let all men imitate the humility of God’s Mother.   Honour, Ye angels, the Mother of your King, you who adore the Offspring of our Virgin, Who is your King and our King, the Healer of our race, the Restorer of our fatherland.  Who among you is so sublime, yet among us was so lowly, to Whose Majesty as well from you as from us. let there be adoration and reverence, to whose Perfection be there honour and glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen

Mary and Joseph be our teachers and our guides, pray for us and for all the families of the world.holy family pray for us no 2 - 31 dec 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, SAINT of the DAY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. He will never be shamed.…Psalm 127:3-5psalm 127 - 3-5 - 31 dec 2017

REFLECTION – “How important it is, therefore, that every child coming into the world be welcomed by the warmth of a family!   External comforts do not matter, Jesus was born in a stable and had a manger as His first cradle but the love of Mary and of Joseph made Him feel the tenderness and beauty of being loved.   Children need this, the love of their father and mother.   It is this that gives them security and, as they grow, enables them to discover the meaning of life.   The Holy Family of Nazareth went through many trials …. Yet, trusting in divine Providence, they found their stability and guaranteed Jesus a serene childhood and a sound upbringing.”…Pope Benedict XVI (Feast of the Holy Family 2010)how important it is therefore - pope benedict - 31 dec 2017

PRAYER – Holy Father, trusting in the motherly intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Families and under the powerful protection of St Joseph, her spouse, grant we pray, that we may dedicate ourselves tirelessly to this beautiful mission which You have placed in our hands, as mothers and fathers of Your children.   Strengthen us to protect and guide them in Your ways.   Through the prayers of our Holy Mother and the Guardian of Your divine Son and of His Church, in union with Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, amen.holy-fam-pray-for-us - 2016

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St Pope JOHN PAUL, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Our Morning Offering – 31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

Prayer for the Family
By St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

Lord God,
from You every family in Heaven
and on earth takes its name.
Father, You are love and life.
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman
and through the Holy Spirit,
the fountain of divine charity,
grant that every family on earth may become,
for each successive generation
a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace,
may guide the thoughts and actions
of husbands and wives
for the good of their families
and of all the families in the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family
solid support for their human dignity
and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love,
strengthened by the grace
of the sacrament of marriage,
may prove mightier than all the weaknesses
and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out
her worldwide mission in the family
and through the family.
We ask this of You,
Who is life, truth and love
with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amenprayer for the family - st john paul - 31 dec feast of the holy family 2017

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE

31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

31 December – Feast of the Holy Family and the Seventh Day of the Octave

The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus:  The Divine Son of God Jesus, His mother the Virgin Mary and His foster-father Joseph.   We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the canonical Gospels.   They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, and the finding of Jesus in the temple.   Various non-canonical works, including the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, try to fill in the blanks.   However, even though these apocryphal works may contain some truth derived from oral tradition, they have been deemed unworthy of canonical status because of the way they present Jesus.   While the exact details of the day-to-day life of the Holy Family may be unknown, we can still learn a lot from the stories we do have.

As far back as St John Chrysostom (347-407) , Christians were urged to make of their home a family church in which the family members would find their sanctification.   That was to be accomplished by putting Christ at the center of all individual and family life, by working and praying together, reading the Scriptures and worshiping as a unit. The cult of the Holy Family grew in popularity in the 17th century and several religious congregations have been founded under this title.   The Holy Family also became portrayed in popular art of the period.   On 26 October 1921 the Congregation of Rites (under Pope Benedict XV) inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the Latin Rite general calendar.   Until then it had been celebrated regionally.   Popes before and including Benedict XV (especially Leo XIII) promoted the feast as a way to counter the breakdown of the family unit.   Today the Church celebrates the Feast on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day (Known as the Feast of Mary Mother of God in the Catholic Church).   If both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays, no Sunday exists between the two dates, so the Church celebrates the Holy Family Feast on 30 December.

michelangelo_doni_tondo_l
Michelangelo The Doni Tondo, The Holy Family with the infant St John the Baptist

The Holy Family:   Jesus, Mary and Joseph
The devotion to the Holy Family was born in Bethlehem, together with the Baby Jesus. The shepherds went to adore the Child and, at the same time, they gave honour to His family.   Later, in a similar way, the three wise men came from the East to adore and give honour to the newborn King with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh that would be safeguarded by His family.holy-family10-SIMON VOUET

We can go further to affirm that in a certain sense Christ, Himself, was the first devotee of His family.   He showed His devotion to His mother and foster father by submitting Himself, with infinite humility, to the duty of filial obedience towards them.   This is what St Bernard of Clairvaux said in this regard, ‘God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary;  and not only to Mary but Joseph also for Mary’s sake [….]. God obeyed a human creature;  this is humility without precedent.   A human creature commands God;  it is sublime beyond measure.’ (First Homily on the ‘Missus Est’).holy-family41with st bernard

Today’s celebration demonstrates Christ’s humility and obedience with respect to the fourth commandment, whilst also highlighting the loving care that His parents exercised in His keeping.   The servant of God, St Pope John Paul II, in 1989, entitled his Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Redemptoris Custos’ (Guardian of the Redeemer) which was dedicated to the person and the mission of Saint Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.   After exactly a century, he resumed the teaching of Pope Leo XIII, for who Saint Joseph ‘.. shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men’ (Encyclical Quamquam Pluries[1889] n. 3).   Pope Leo XIII continued, ‘.. Joseph became the guardian, the administrator and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was.[…]   It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.’   Not many years before, blessed Pope Pius IX had proclaimed Saint Joseph, ‘Patron of the Catholic Church’ (1870)holy-family18- POUSSIN

Almost intuitively, one can recognise that the mysterious, exemplary, guardianship enacted by Joseph was conducted firstly, in a yet more intimate way, by Mary. Consequently, the liturgical feast of the Holy Family speaks to us of the fond and loving care that we must render to the Body of Christ.   We can understand this in a mystical sense, as guardians of the Church and also in the Eucharistic sense.   Mary and Joseph took great care of Jesus’ physical body.   Following their example, we can and must take great care of His Mystical Body, the Church and the Eucharist which He has entrusted to us.   If Mary was, in some way, ‘the first tabernacle in history’ (St John Paul  Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 55) then we, the Tabernacle, in which Our Lord chose to reside in person, in His Real Presence, was also entrusted to us.   holy-family1 - RAPHAEL AND ROMANO

We can learn from Mary and Joseph!   What would they ever have overlooked in the care of Jesus’ physical body? Is there something, therefore, that we can withhold for the right and adoring care of His Eucharistic Body?   No amount of attention, no sane act of love and adoring respect will ever be too much!   On the contrary, our adoration and respect will always be inferior to the great gift that comes to us in the Holy Eucharist.holy-family3 caravaggio

Looking at the Holy Family, we see the love, the protection and the diligent care that they gave to the Redeemer.   We can not fail to feel uneasiness, perhaps a shameful thought, for the times in which we have not rendered the appropriate care and attention to the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask for forgiveness and do penance for all the sacrilegious acts and the lack of respect that are committed in front of the Blessed Eucharist.   We can only ask the Lord, through the intersession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, for a greater love for their Son Incarnate, who has decided to remain here on earth with us every day until the end of time.   (From the Congregation for the Clergy.)holy-family42