Today we are celebrating the Feast of The Holy Family. Although major feast days dedicated to each member of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – also exist, the Feast of the Holy Family commemorates their life together, and the celebration focuses on religious family life. Because of the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, a feast for the Holy Family has been observed by the Copts from early times.
In Western Christianity, however, a cult of veneration for the Holy Family as a group, rather than as individuals, did not arise until the 17th century and was not officially recognised until the feast day was formally instituted in 1921 under Pope Benedict XV.
As we stand at the threshold of a New Year, dear brothers and sisters, I ask
Almighty God to bless you and your families, and pray that you may know
something of the peace and love which marked that unique Holy Family of Nazareth.
(Words taken from His Lordship, Michael G Campbell OSA, Bishop of Lancaster
in his Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Lancaster).