Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Holy Family—10 January AD 2021
Ave Maria!



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The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin and English
Holy Family - Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Dominica infra Octavam Epiphaniæ - Sanctæ Familiæ
Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII, Néminem fugit.

And his parents went every year to Jerusalem,
   at the solemn day of the Passover

    Today’s Gospel has the Holy Family returning from the feast of the Passover at the Temple in Jerusalem.  It was the duty of every able-bodied Jewish man in Israel to attend at the Temple on the three principal feasts of the year: Passover (or Pesach), Pentecost (or Shavuot), and Sukkot—feasts marking the barley harvest, the wheat harvest, and the end of the general harvest, respectively.[2]  Throughout the Bible we see that the Holy Family carefully observed the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law, and this Passover was particularly important for as a twelve year old, the boy Jesus was on the eve of becoming Bar Mitzva, an adult under Jewish Law at age thirteen.  We are uncertain as to our Lord’s actual birthday, and some scholars suggest that He turned thirteen during the seven days of the feast.

    The Feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893. Formal devotion to the Holy Family can be traced back to 17th century Québec when the first bishop of New France: Blessed François de Laval expanded the role of the Confraternity of the Holy Family, an association with roots going back to the very founding of Montréal.[3]

    On October 26, 1921 the Congregation of Rites under Pope Benedict XV inserted the Feast of the Holy Family into the church's general calendar. Earlier Popes, particularly Leo XIII, promoted the feast as a way to counter the breakdown of the family unit.  The date in 1921 makes this year the hundredth anniversary of the feast being celebrated throughout the Universal Church.  The Popes of that time were generally concerned with the effects of the Industrial Revolution, Modernism and Freemasonry on Christian Families, the basic unit of Society and of God's Church.

    Industrialization had already driven many families into the cities in search of jobs.  Living quarters tended to be cramped, thereby promoting family strife, and encouraging the limitation of children.  Both women and children were tempted to take industrial jobs, exposing some to overwork, and some to extramarital compulsion or temptation.

    Years before 1921, Karl Marx had written his Manifesto, and the Russian Revolution had taken place.  Not only was the Communist Party officially atheistic , but in the name of equality for women, it established legal abortion, easy divorce, and abolished the notion of “illegitimate” birth—thereby loosening public morality, and more or less dissolving any notion of a stable family life.  Marx claimed that capitalists viewed women as a means of production, and in their moral hypocrisy treated women as common property.  Instead of calling for greater morality, he undermined the Institution of the Family for everyone.[4]

    Socialist ideas were not confined to Soviet Russia, but spread throughout Western society as well.  Indeed, Thomas Malthus had espoused the need for population control over a century earlier in 1789[5].  Mistaken economists held that population would always outgrow the available food supply.  Any increase in production would be consumed by the greedy “elites,” leaving the working poor in continuously greater poverty

    With smaller workforces as the result of population limitation, Russian communists experienced severe shortages—which were made much worse by the folly of government command of economic planning.  Soviet population policy changed by 1944 when Russians began to recognize women with ten or more children as “Mother-Heroines of the Soviet Union.”  But the Chinese Communists are still at it, according to an article published just days ago, in which they claimed to have “emancipated” various tribal women.[6]

    Even in the West, and even in Catholic countries, population control schemes still occasionally raise their ugly heads.  Even successful free market economies are not completely immune.  In modern times, appeal has been made to the myth of “global warming” to justify population limitation.[7]

    In reality, it was the same God Who gave mankind “dominion” over nature, that told them to “go forth and multiply.”[8]

    In extending today's feast day, Pope Leo XIIII proposed the Holy Family as a model for all families to imitate:

    To all fathers of families, Joseph is [truly] the best model of paternal vigilance and care. In the most holy Virgin Mother of God, mothers may find an excellent example of love, modesty, resignation of spirit, and the perfecting of faith. And in Jesus, who was subject to his parents, the children of the family have a divine pattern of obedience which they can admire, reverence, and imitate....[9]

“And he went down with them,
and came to Nazareth,
and was subject to them.”




[1]   Luke ii: 41  Gospel v.42-52







[8]   Genesis i: 26-28

[9]   From the Apostolic Letter of Pope Leo XIII, Néminem fugit. Second nocturn of the feast.



Dei via est íntegra


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