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Two Papal Homilies for the Feast of the Holy Family

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family. Today is well-suited, then, for reflection on the meaning and the vocation of the family today. We share with you two homilies by former popes, both rich in images and ideas for contemplation.

First, a beautiful passage from a 1964 homily given by Pope Paul VI in Nazareth, as found in the Catechism, no. 533:

“The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus – the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us . . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simply beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character . . . A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the ‘Carpenter’s Son,’ in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work.”

The full text is available on the Vatican website, but only in Spanish or French.

Second, a homily by Bl. John Paul II from the first year of his pontificate, 1978. His words are a beautiful and timeless reflection on the meaning of the family and the threats it faces (in 1978 as well as today!).

“The deepest human problems are connected with the family. It constitutes the primary, fundamental and irreplaceable community for man. ‘The mission of being the primary vital cell of society has been given to the family by God himself,’ the Second Vatican Council affirms. (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 11) The Church wishes to bear a particular witness to that too during the Octave of Christmas, by means of the feast of the Holy Family. She wishes to recall that the fundamental values, which cannot be violated without incalculable harm of a moral nature, are bound up with the family.”

Read the entire homily here.

Have a wonderful feast day.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!

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