The Holy Family


Holy Family

The Holy Family is made up of the Child Jesus, Mother Mary, and Saint Joseph. Not much is known about the family except for some choice accounts. These include the momentous acceptance respectively of Mary and Joseph as appointed parents of Jesus on earth, the search for a place to stay when Mary was about to give birth to Jesus, and the family’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem where the then 12 year-old Jesus was lost and eventually found at the temple.

The Catholic Church points to the Holy Family as the model family for Christian families not because they are perfect but because they espouse obedience to God, love and respect for each other, and determination to stay away from sin.

There is a liturgical celebration dedicated to honoring the family referred to as The Feast of the Holy Family. It is celebrated on the Sunday between Christmas Day (December 25th) and The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God (January 1st). Should these two important days happen to fall on a Sunday, the Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30.

Saint Francois de Laval, the first bishop of New France started the Veneration of the Holy Family during the 17th century. Many practicing Catholics write “J.M.J.” in their personal notes for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. In the local parlance, “Susmaryosep” is a common expression when caught by surprise or when feeling great dismay, believed to be an invocation for the help of “Hesus, Maria at Hosep”.

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