The Holy Family: The Pillar of Christian Life

Without Mary, Joseph or Jesus there would be no Church. Their lives interlace to form the story of the Holy Family, which is the original cell of Christianity.

THE TERRESTRIAL TRINITY: JOSEPH, MARY, AND JESUS

Certain apocryphal sources state that Joseph married Mary at the venerable age of 90. Already a widower and father of six, he took care of Mary until the age he could officially marry her. Following the sacred writings, when Joseph found out Mary’s pregnancy he decided to divorce, though determined not to expose her to public disgrace. To prevent this from happening, an Angel appeared to inform him about the mission upon which he was about to embark — he must not leave Mary, because the child she was carrying was the Son of God. This way, Joseph's conduct lays the foundations for Christian family life, that attributes to the husband a deeply protective and supportive role.

On the other hand, Mary — a young virgin born without sin and an ardent believer in the service of God — accepted without hesitation her destiny of becoming the Mother of God. Humble and obedient to God’s teachings, she proved herself strong and resilient to the difficulties of life, even to the greatest and cruelest of all: the death of her Son.

The Annunciation. Beato Angelico 

Finally, Jesus, the Son of God, the ‘anointed one’. Like his mother and father, he welcomed his fate with faith and courage, offering the greatest of all sacrifices— his life — to redeem the sins of humanity.

The Crucifixion. 

The earthly families are invited to benefit from and follow the example of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, the Holy Family representing the domestic Church of faithful love and devotion, where the first Christian teachings are being learned, the first prayers being said. According to the Catholic Counter-Reformation, Mary, Jesus, and Joseph are an earthly reflection of the Holy Trinity.

The sacrality of the family is sanctioned by the fourth commandment, which reads as follows: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES

Back in 1994, the Pontifical Council for the Family established the World Meeting of Families in response to Pope John Paul II request. The meeting is celebrated every three years and this year it took place on 21-26 August 2018, in Dublin. Pope Francis will visit the capital of Ireland on the weekend. 

Let us quote the closing Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis at the last World Meeting of Families 2015:

“We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us! [...]

Anyone who wants to bring into this world a family which teaches children to be excited by every gesture aimed at overcoming evil – a family which shows that the Spirit is alive and at work – will encounter our gratitude and our appreciation. Whatever the family, people, religion or region to which they belong!

May God grant that all of us may be prophets of the joy of the Gospel, the Gospel of the family and family love, as disciples of the Lord. [...]”