Called “Shrine of Life” and “Domestic Church”, the family was God’s chosen means of bringing Jesus into the world. According to the Gospel of Matthew, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said to him: “Do not be afraid to receive Mary as your bride, for He who was conceived in her comes from the Holy Spirit. And the family of Nazareth has become an example to the world.
Br BRUNO VARRIANO, ofm
Guardian and Rector of the Basilica of the Annunciation – Nazareth
“Nowadays it is really necessary to contemplate a Holy Family of Nazareth. Today we live relativism. But above all, it is necessary to contemplate the family values, human values, not only the spiritual values of this family. These are the values of a father who works, of a father who takes care of this son of God, who is still his juridical son, and who was given by God to St. Joseph; the values of Mary who takes care of her husband and her son. The values of a family that had the difficulty of waking up in the morning and going to work in the city of Seforis. They too lived as refugees, having to flee from King Herod to go to Egypt. Many families today are forced to emigrate because of the war, because of difficulties in their work. This Holy Family of Nazareth is a true example”.
The Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated as part of the Octave of Christmas and encourages us to deepen our love for the family even in the midst of current difficulties and to take Jesus, Mary and Joseph as our model.
In the Basilica of the Annunciation, Franciscans, pilgrims, local Christians and couples celebrating their silver or golden wedding gathered for Mass presided over by Brother Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land. The homily was given by Br. Marwan Di’des, pastor of Nazareth, who highlighted the Jubilee commemoration of married life and said: “Where does the word Jubilee come from? It comes from the Bible. God gives people the law to follow, and these laws provide a way of life. Not only by the law but through the law, God led His people to holiness. For this reason, every 49 years there was a Jubilee year consecrated to the Lord”.
At the end of Mass, everyone went out in procession towards the place where the Holy Family lived and received the blessing.
LORENA CAVALCANTE GADELHA DE OLIVEIRA
Shalom Catholic Community
“I believe that in this place we can see how the Holy Family was led by God, and it’s a very strong emotion. I think that in the first place the family is born from this yes, the Holy Family is born from the yes to God to welcome and incarnate the will of God in one’s own life”.
MATHEUS CORRARO MOREIRA
“It is a very special thing to take part in the celebration of the Holy Family in this place where they lived, where we too can experience this spirituality of Nazareth.”