Starts: Nine days before the Feastday
Feastday: The feast is celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, that is, the Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (both exclusive), or if both Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God are Sundays, on 30 December (always a Friday in such years).
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph provides every family an inspiration and model to follow.
Scripture and Tradition tell us only bits and pieces of the three decades that Jesus spent with His family. Of course, we have the infancy narratives, a small section of his childhood as revealed in the flight to Egypt, and years later the finding of the child Jesus in the Temple, but otherwise we know little about their life.
Unfortunately, the depictions of Mary and Joseph in popular culture — including well-meaning movies and Contemporary Christian music — usually at best miss the mark, and at worst are heretical and demeaning to Our Lady. Occasionally there is a good depiction that recognizes their exceedingly great sanctity.
Over the centuries, God has granted private revelation to several faithful men and women about the hidden life of Jesus and the Holy Family, all of which reveal the tremendous love and virtue lived out in their life together, but none of these writings are binding upon the Faithful to accept, since they are not public revelation.
But even with relatively little to go on, we as Catholics can greatly benefit from meditating upon the life of the Holy Family and from calling upon them in prayer — a favorite is “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: assist me!”
(Credit for this novena goes to ewtn.com)
Intro Prayer (to be said each day)
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless me and grant me the grace of loving Holy Church as I should, above every earthly thing, and of ever showing my love by deeds.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless me and grant me the grace of openly professing as I should, with courage and without human respect, the faith that I received as your gift in holy Baptism.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless me and grant me the grace of sharing as I should in the defense and propagation of the Faith when duty calls, whether by word or by the sacrifice of my possessions and my life.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless me and grant me the grace of loving my family and others in mutual charity as I should, and establish us in perfect harmony of thought, will, and action, under the rule and guidance of the shepherds of the Church.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless me and grant me the grace of conforming my life fully as I should to the commandments of God’s law and those of His Holy Church, so as to live always in that charity which they set forth.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I ask in particular this special favor:
(Mention your request here)
Most loving Jesus, by Your sublime and beautiful virtues of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience, and gentleness, You blessed with peace and happiness the family which You chose on earth. In Your mercy look upon my family. We belong to You, for we have received Your many blessings over many years and we entrust ourselves to Your loving care.
Look upon my family in Your loving kindness, preserve us from danger, give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in imitation of Your holy Family, so that having revered You and loved You faithfully on earth, we may praise You eternally in heaven.
Mary, dearest Mother, to your intercession we have recourse, knowing that your Divine Son will hear your prayers. Glorious patriarch, Saint Joseph, help us by your powerful prayers and offer our prayers to Jesus through Mary’s hands. Amen.
Concluding Prayer (to be said each day)
Lord Jesus Christ, being subject to Mary and Joseph, You sanctified family life by Your beautiful virtues. Grant that we, with the help of Mary and Joseph, may be taught by the example of Your holy Family, and may after death enjoy its everlasting companionship.
Lord Jesus, help us ever to follow the example of Your holy Family, that in the hour of our death Your glorious Virgin Mother together with Saint Joseph may come to meet us, and we may be worthy to be received by You into the everlasting joys of heaven. You live and reign forever. Amen.