Holy Family Prayer

In the Catholic Church, the month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family. This special devotion honors the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households. The family is foundational for Christian life.

Nothing truly 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. Pope Leo XIII

The family is a school of virtue for both parents and children. In family, we find God who is all loving through the love the spouses have for each other and for their children. The family is where love is freely given sacrificially for the good of another. During the International Year of the Family (1994), Saint John Paul II wrote: “The family is indeed more than any other social reality, the place where an individual can exist ‘for himself’ through the sincere gift of self. This is why it remains a social institution that neither can nor should be replaced: it is the ‘sanctuary of life.’”[1]

To model the Holy Family, we need to be open to God’s grace available to us by virtue of our sacramental marriages. Marriage and raising children are hard and despite our best intentions, as fallen human beings, we fail at times. Because of our sins and failures, the most important virtue in family life is forgiveness. When spouses forgive each other readily and likewise their children, parents are modeling the love and mercy of God.

One of the best ways to grow in forgiveness is to pray together as a family. An excellent resource is the Holy Family Prayer Book: Prayers for Every Family from the Missionaries of the Holy Family. It is available at their website and includes prayers to keep your family spiritually grounded.

In addition, we suggest that you dedicate your family to the Holy Family through the following consecration, asking for their guidance and protection.

Consecration to the Holy Family[2]

O Jesus, our most loving Savior, who deigned to come into the world from heaven, not only to enlighten it by teaching and by your example, and to save it by death, but also to spend the greater part of life in humble obedience to Mary and Joseph in the obscurity of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the home, which was to be the model of all Christian homes: graciously receive this family, which consecrates itself to you this day. Protect us and maintain in us, all through life, your holy fear and love, and true harmony and charity among ourselves, so that we imitate your Holy Family, be one in heart and soul on Earth, and obtain eternal happiness and glory with you in heaven.

O Mary, loving Mother of Jesus and our Mother, by your merciful intercession, deign to make this humble dedication acceptable to Jesus Christ, so that we may obtain his grace to be a truly Christian family.

Saint Joseph, guardian and supporter of Jesus and Mary, help us with your powerful prayers in all our corporal and spiritual needs, and especially at the hour of our death, so that we may one day all be united in heaven with you, to praise and love Jesus and Mary forever and ever. Amen.

[1] John Paul II, Gratissimam Sane (Letter to Families), §11, internet: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1994/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_02021994_families.html (accessed February 8, 2020).

[2] Missionaries of the Holy Family, Holy Family Prayer Book (Liguori: Liguori Press, 2012), 15-16.