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 | Danny Jost

The Holy Family Is the Model for Every Home

Traditionally, February is the month dedicated to the Holy Family. Pope Leo XIII, who officialized the feast in 1893, said of the Holy Family that nothing “can be more salutary or efficacious for Christian families to meditate upon than the example of this Holy Family, which embraces the perfection and completeness of all domestic virtues.”

As sons and daughters of God, we are all called to imitate the Holy Family in every role that we hold in our own families, communities and even our nation. This month provides an opportunity to reevaluate our vocations and make a conscious effort to imitate each member of the Holy Family.

St. Joseph

While St. Joseph’s words are not recounted in Scripture, he served as the loving protector of his young family. Throughout the travels they undertook — the journey to Bethlehem and later the flight to Egypt — Joseph cooperated with the will of God to safeguard the Word made flesh and the Holy Mother. It is also clear that St. Joseph was an exceptional teacher, as he shared the trade of carpentry with his son.

In the imitation of St. Joseph, we can all strive to take responsibility for the wellbeing of those for whom we are caretakers, whether that’s our own children, elderly or sick relatives or work colleagues. In addition, we share our personal talents for the good of our fellow man.

Our Lady

Our Lady is the model of all beauty, humility and trust in the Lord. When God revealed Mary’s role in his eternal plan, Our Lady accepted her vocation readily with joy. Throughout her earthly life, she denied herself for the good of her son, and for all her spiritual children. For example, when Mary informed Jesus during the wedding at Cana that “they have no wine”(Jn 2:3), she did this so others might see the miracle and be drawn closer to him.

Mary holds a special role of guiding God’s children to her son. May we, in imitation of Mary, accept the challenges and graces that we experience in our own vocations.

Christ Jesus

Jesus Christ, true God and true man, submitted with respect to his earthly parents. He sacrificed his entire life in love for our redemption, giving us the model for a truly fulfilled life in God’s law. Unscathed by sin, and perfect in his majesty, he suffered mockery, temptation and death itself for humanity’s sake.

Even in his childhood Jesus took on the role of teacher as he spoke to the elders in the temple. He constantly reminded his followers that, ultimately, we are children of God, and we must foster communication with our Father in heaven.

While reflecting on the individual members of the Holy Family, we acknowledge the beautiful example they set for our world — the importance of the traditional family unit, the very building block of society. We use the month of February to recenter our families on unity and prayer and counter a broken world.

May our prayers and the Holy Family renew and strengthen our own families.

Daniel Jost is a public relations specialist for the Office of Multimedia. Email him at