Today, in the Latin lung of the Catholic Church, we celebrate the feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. This most blessed family serves as a model for all families for all time. Although the hidden of life Christ is not fully revealed to us in the Scriptures, these years of Jesus with Mary and Joseph do show us the importance of His daily life in the ordinary time of family life. It is in Nazareth where the school of the Gospel begins. It is here that three important lessons are provided – the lesson of silence, the lesson of family life, and the lesson of work.
To help us understand the role of the Holy Family a bit more, and how it plays an important part for our modern culture and family life, below are 10 quotes from Pope St. Saint John Paul II –
The Church wishes to bear a particular witness to that too during the Octave of Christmas, by means of the feast of the Holy Family. She wishes to recall that the fundamental values, which cannot be violated without incalculable harm of a moral nature, are bound up with the family. – Homily, December 31, 1978
The Holy Family is the beginning of countless other holy families. The Council recalled that holiness is the vocation of all the baptized. In our age, as in the past, there is no lack of witnesses to the “gospel of the family”, even if they are not well known or have not been proclaimed saints by the Church. The Year of the Family is the appropriate occasion to bring about an increased awareness of their existence and their great number. – Gratissimam Sane (Letter to Families), #23. 1994.
To gather round the Bethlehem grotto contemplating there the Holy Family, enables us to appreciate the gift of family intimacy in a special way, and spurs us to offer human warmth and concrete solidarity in those unfortunately numerous situations which, for various reasons, lack peace, harmony, in a word, lack “family”. – Angelus, December 29, 1996
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. – Angelus, December 27, 1998
This Sunday we are celebrating the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and it is very significant that this year it takes place the day after Christmas and the opening of the Great Jubilee. I would therefore like to extend my special good wishes to families: a merry Christmas and a happy Jubilee Year to you all, families of Rome and of the entire world! The Jubilee that marks the 2,000th anniversary of Christ’s birth is yours in a particular way, because it recalls how God chose to enter human history through a family. – Angelus, December 26, 1999
Looking today at that Holy House, our thoughts turn to the many families of our time who are in difficult situations. Some of them suffer from extreme poverty; others are forced to seek in foreign countries what they unfortunately lack in their homeland; still others find within their own families serious problems caused by the rapid cultural and social changes which at times overwhelm them. And what can be said of the many attacks on the family institution itself? All this shows how urgent it is to rediscover the value of the family and to help it in every way to be, as God wanted it, the vital environment where every child who comes into the world is welcomed with tenderness and gratitude from the moment of his conception; a place marked by a serene atmosphere that encourages the harmonious human and spiritual development of all its members. – Angelus, December 31, 2000
For every believer, and especially for Christian families, the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel. Here we admire, put into practice, the divine plan to make the family an intimate community of life and love; here we learn that every Christian family is called to be a small “domestic church” that must shine with the Gospel virtues. Recollection and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, personal discipline and community asceticism and a spirit of sacrifice, work and solidarity are typical features that make the family of Nazareth a model for every home. – Angelus, December 30, 2001
The liturgy of this Sunday, a few days after Christmas, invites us to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazareth, a wonderful model of human and supernatural virtues for all Christian families. Let us meditate on the mystery of this unique family: we can find in it values and teachings which today are more indispensable than ever to give human society sound and stable foundations. – Angelus, December 29, 2002
Today, a few days after Christmas, the Church contemplates the Holy Family. At the school of Nazareth every family learns to be a workshop of love, unity and openness to life. In our day a misunderstood sense of rights sometimes troubles the very nature of the family institution and of the conjugal bond. People who believe in the importance of the family based on marriage should join forces at all levels. The family is a human and divine reality that should be defended and promoted as a fundamental social good. – Angelus, December 28, 2003
Today, the Feast of St Stephen gives way to the Feast of the Holy Family. The Son of God prepared himself to carry out his redeeming mission, living a hard-working and hidden life in the holy house of Nazareth. Thus, united by his Incarnation with every man and woman (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 22), he was able to sanctify human families. – Angelus, December 26, 2004
On this day, let us ask for the intercession of the Holy Family that we may have the strength and courage to stand against all those who seek to destroy the life of traditional families. Let us also pray for the intercession of St. Joseph, who was the Protector of the Child Jesus and Mary, and is the Protector of the Holy Catholic Church. Amen.