The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households began in the seventeenth century. It commenced almost simultaneously in Canada and France: the Association of the Holy Family being founded in Montreal in 1663, and the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674. Numerous other congregations and associations under the patronage of the Holy Family have been established since that time, and they are spread over the world. The archconfraternity was established by Pius IX in 1847. In 1893 Leo XIII approved a feast for Canada, and Benedict XV extended the Feast of the Holy Family to the whole Church and ordered its celebration to take place on the Sunday after Epiphany.
Domine Jesu Christe, qui Mariae et Joseph subditus domesticam vitam ineffabilibus virtutibus consecrasti: fac nos, utriusque auxilio Familiae sanctae tuae exemplis instrui: et consortium consequi sempiternum: Qui vivis et regnas.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, being subject to Mary and Joseph, didst sanctify home life with ineffable virtues: grant that, with the aid of both, we may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family, and attain to eternal fellowship with them: Who livest and reignest.
Gospel Lk. 2:42-52
The Devine Child Jesus sits in the midst of the doctors who are astonished at His wisdom and His answers.
When Jesus was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey and sought Him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem seeking Him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers. And seeing Him, they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.