The Holy Family

The prevailing reality of life in the small town of Nazareth for Jesus, Mary and Joseph, where Joseph exercised his trade as a carpenter, was its simplicity. Although born of an illustrious lineage - descended from King David - the Holy Family in the midst of an extended kinship, led the life of a modest household, neither poor nor rich, earning their daily bread by the sweat of their brow and respecting the administrative and social rules of their people.

The spiritual life of the Holy Family was punctuated by communal prayer in the synagogue, the rites and numerous religious feasts of Judaism (among them the rite of circumcision, the feast of Booths, the pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem), identical on the outside to that of any good practicing Jew of the time.

Yet, behind the modesty of this behavior, respectful of the ways and customs of their culture, the Holy Family lived such a grandiose reality that only silence and discretion could guarantee for the Nazareth home the serenity needed for the development of God's plan: to give birth to the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus, the Christ and Savior of the World, and to watch over His childhood and adolescent years until He reached His full manly maturity and was able to start His public life and preaching of His Gospel.

It is indeed in the humble abode of Nazareth that started to unfold, between the members of the Holy Family, the first pages of that New Testament which Heaven, in its Word made flesh, came to give men, out of love and for everyone's salvation.

The testimony of Jesus, Mary and Joseph also shows what immense greatness a common family life united to God can attain in simplicity and shared love.