The most pressing issue of our time has been the destruction of the family. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the one household with all the answers.
Dr. Scott Hahn, Ph.D., Catholic author: "The Holy Family is where family succeeds. And it really is a living image of the Holy Trinity — but not just in some speculative, abstract way but in the concrete virtues."
Today (Dec. 30), the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Pope Benedict XV first placed the feast day on the universal calendar in 1921, and it was originally celebrated on the Sunday within the octave of Epiphany.
In the new calendar, the feast is celebrated on the Sunday within the octave of Christmas, or Dec. 30 if Christmas falls on a Sunday.
The Holy Family serves as the perfect model for all Christian families.
In a December 2011 general audience, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI proclaimed, "The Holy Family is the icon of the domestic Church, called to pray together. The family is the domestic Church and must be the first school of prayer. It is in the family that children, from the tenderest age, can learn to perceive the meaning of God."
On the Holy Family's feast, the breviary quotes an address given by Pope St. Paul VI for the Office of Readings. The pope shares three lessons we learn from the Holy Family, namely, "silence," "family life" and "work and the discipline it entails."
The Holy Family faced many trials and hardships, which makes it the exemplar of all the virtues.
William Mahoney, Ph.D., S.T.L., producer, Church Militant:
From the moment of the incarnation, the Holy Family had to suffer hardships, beginning with Jesus being born in a stable in Bethlehem because there was no room in the inn. Then, they had to flee because of Herod wanting to kill all of the children so that he could kill Jesus. They had to flee to Egypt. And then, throughout their lives, even in His public ministry, there was [sic] hardships with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. And then, of course, his Crucifixion. And Our Lady had to endure all of that as well.
The family home of Nazareth — nicknamed the Holy House — is still intact to this day, but in a new location.
The house remained in Nazareth until it was transported by angels to modern-day Croatia in 1291, and after a couple more stops, finally ended up in Loreto, Italy, in 1295.
The Holy House of Loreto was the home Mary grew up in — the same house in Nazareth where the Annunciation occurred.
Cdl. Raymond Burke, former prefect, Apostolic Signatura: "May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph bless all of our families."
In order to be the saints God is calling us to be, we should contemplate the greatest examples God has given us: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Pope Leo XIII decreed families should consecrate themselves to the Holy Family.