The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church in honor of Jesus, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family. The purpose of this feast day is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families.
The Holy Family is basically a human family. They would have had to fulfill daily chores, earn a living to put food on the table, fulfill their religious duties, endure illnesses and face challenges just like any family. This is significant because it reveals God’s purpose for family life. The virtues of Jesus and Mary were perfect, and St. Joseph was truly a just man. Every family is called to share in God’s divine life and to face daily life with grace and virtue.
The Feast of the Holy Family is also very much connected to the devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. The Gospel readings for this feast day are in fact the first three sorrows of the Blessed Mother: Year A is the flight into Egypt of Mary and Joseph with the newborn Jesus. Year B is the prophecy of Simeon to Mary during the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple. Year C is the return of Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem in search of the Child Jesus.
Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows became a standard devotion in the Catholic Church around the 14th century. It was revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) that devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Seven Sorrows would bring seven graces. The devotion consists in praying seven Hail Mary’s while meditating on the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Listed below are the Seven Sorrows of Mary:
(1) The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35). (2) The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14). (3) The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:43-45). (4) The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross (Luke 23:27, 4th Station of the Cross). (5) The Crucifixion ( John 19:25). (6) The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross (Mark 15:46). (7) The burial of Jesus (John 19:42).
The Seven Graces are as follows: (1) I will grant peace to their families. (2) They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries. (3) I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work. (4) I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls. (5) I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives. (6) I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother. (7) I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my sorrows, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.
January 1, 2020 (Wednesday) is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Mass in Chinese will be at 12:00 noon.
January 3, 2020 (Friday) is the patronal feast day of our church, which is the Feast Day of the Holy Name of Jesus. The Mass in Chinese will be at 12:00 noon, while the Mass in English will be at 7:00 pm.
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