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Feast of the Holy Family

The feast of the Holy Family is a celebration honoring Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary and his foster father Saint Joseph together as a family. Pope Leo XIII promoted the feast (that had been celebrated since the 17th century when Saint Francois de Laval founded a confraternity venerating the Holy Family). It was set on the Sunday within the Octave of the Ephiphany (between January 7 and January 13) by Pope Benedict XV in 1921, but revised in the 1969 revision with the date moving to Christmastide within the Octave of Christmas (the Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year's Day). However, if Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God both fall on a Sunday, the feast is set for December 30th. With the revision, the feast outranks Saint Stephen's, Saint John the Apostle's, and the Feast of the Holy Innocent's feast days.

The feast presents the Holy Family as an ideal model of an ordered Christian family. Pope Leo XIII promoted the feast with the hope that the faithful love and devoted attachment in the family of Nazareth will be observed and instilled within the Christian family.

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