Feast of the Holy Family, Dec. 31

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The Feast of the Holy Family is usually celebrated on the Sunday following Christmas, Dec. 31 this year. If there is no Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it is celebrated Dec. 30. The Holy Family, made up of the Christ Child, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, serves as a model for all families.

This feast honors their lives together, beginning in Bethlehem and then moving to Nazareth, Egypt and back to Nazareth. The feast recognizes the humility of Jesus, Mary’s virtue and Joseph’s steadfastness, along with the obedience of all three to God’s plan for them in salvation history.

“Here we can learn to realize 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 …,” reflected Blessed Paul VI while visiting the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth in 1964, adding that from the Holy Family we learn about silence, family life and discipline. “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.”

The Holy Family are the patrons of Holy Family Parish in Phoenix, Holy Family Mission in Blackwater and Holy Family Syro-Malabar Catholic Parish in Phoenix.