Holy Family

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Holy Family depiction at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Dili, East Timor Cathedral Dili window.jpg
Holy Family depiction at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Dili, East Timor
The Holy Family, by Raphael The Holy Family - Rafael.jpg
The Holy Family, by Raphael
Polidoro da Lanciano (1515-1565), Holy Family with an Angel, c. 1540. (Private collection) Polidoro da Lanciano Holy Family with Angel.jpg
Polidoro da Lanciano (1515-1565), Holy Family with an Angel, c. 1540. (Private collection)

The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. Veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a Confraternity.

Contents

The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church and some Anglican Churches in honor of Jesus, his mother, and his legal father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. [1]

The Feast is held on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's Day; If both are Sundays, the feast is celebrated on December 30th.

Background

Holy card depicting the Holy Family, in French. University of Dayton Libraries. Holy Family 2.jpg
Holy card depicting the Holy Family, in French. University of Dayton Libraries.

The Gospels speak little of the life of the Holy Family in the years before Jesus’ public ministry. [2]

Matthew and Luke narrate the episodes from this period of Christ's life, namely his circumcision and later Presentation, the flight to Egypt, the return to Nazareth, and the Finding in the Temple. [1] Joseph and Mary were apparently observant Jews, as Luke narrates that they brought Jesus with them on the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem with other Jewish families.

Veneration

The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honor 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. [1]

From the 17th century, the feast has been celebrated at a local and regional level and at that level was promoted by Pope Leo XIII. In 1921, Pope Benedict XV made it part of the General Roman Calendar and set on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany; that is to say, on the Sunday between January 7 through January 13, all inclusive (see General Roman Calendar of 1954). [3] [4] The 1962 Roman Missal, whose use is still authorized in the circumstances indicated in the 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum , follows the General Roman Calendar of 1960, which has the celebration on that date.

The 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar moved the celebration to Christmastide, assigning it to the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, that is, 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). When not celebrated on a Sunday, it is not a holy day of obligation. [5]

Formerly, the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas was in fact celebrated only if it fell on 29, 30 or 31 December, since it gave way to the higher ranked feasts of Saint Stephen, Saint John the Apostle and the Holy Innocents. The Feast of the Holy Family that has replaced it outranks these three feasts.

Cultural references

In art

The Holy Family is a popular theme in Christian art. An oil painting by the Dutch Joos van Cleve, dated to about 1512, is on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. [6] Michelangelo's tempera rendition (c. 1506) hangs in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. [7] A Holy Family by Giulio Romano is on view at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California. [8]

Patronages and customs

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.

The Cathedral of the Holy Family of Nazareth is the see of the Diocese of Tulsa in Oklahoma. [9]

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. [10]

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Strasser O.S.B., Bernard. With Christ Through the Year". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  2. Martin, James. "The Holy Family", Catholic Update
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica: Feast of the Holy Family
  4. Ss. Cosmas and Damian Roman Catholic Parish: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
  5. It is not among the ten feasts listed in canon 1247 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law and canon 1246 of the 1983 Code as holy days of obligation.
  6. ""The Holy Family", New York Metropolitan Museum of Art". Metmuseum.org. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  7. ""The Holy Family", Art in the Bible". Artbible.info. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  8. "The Holy Family", The J. Paul Getty Museum Archived 2014-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Cathedral of the Holy Family of Nazareth". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2014-01-02.
  10. Perrotta, Louise Bourassa (March 2000). Saint Joseph. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. p. 149. ISBN   978-0-87973-573-9.