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The Missionaries of the Holy Family promote a special Holy Family Novena in December, but this Novena to the Holy Family is intended for use any time during the year.

Opening Prayer for each day

Heavenly Father, your grace reaches us through the hands of your most precious Son, Jesus. His response to the prayers of Mary and Joseph are assured, so we ask for their prayers during this Novena. Lord, send light to our understanding, inspiration to our decisions, and the fire of pure love to our hearts, so that we will respond to the blessing of your grace in our lives which comes through the prayers of the Holy Family. And you, our Guardian Angels and all the Saints in Heaven, intercede for us so that we may honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph by the way we live. Help us to find ways to live as they did and to avoid looking for excuses for not changing our ways. Through this Novena in honor of the Holy Family, place in us the desire to pursue and imitate the virtues of the Holy Family and to accept your answer to our requests as your will for our lives. Amen.

First Day
Devotion to the Holy Family

To honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is a devotion that is beneficial to all Christians. The lives of the Holy Family on earth serve as models for every state of life for both the individual and the family. God offers His graces through the Holy Family of Nazareth to encourage devotion and reflection on their lives. We are challenged to make their way of life, our way of life. They are a source of virtue, they enlighten our minds, and they show us how to love through sacrifice. Let us respond to the love they have shown us. We pray for a deeper love of the Holy Family.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Second Day
The Holy Family Does God’s Will

The Holy Family began with a “Yes” to the will of God. Mary’s acceptance of God’s will for her life to be the Mother of Jesus began with her saying, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). With this, the Holy Family began. Joseph planned to divorce Mary until he learned of God’s plan for him. And while others did not understand Joseph, he accepted God’s will for his life: “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home” (Matthew 1:24). Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Each member said “Yes” to God’s will knowing their “Yes” required sacrifice, but they had confidence in God’s blessings as well. Consider where God is calling us to say “Yes” to His will in our lives. The next time we pray the Our Father, ponder the words “thy will be done.”

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Third Day
The Holy Family - Model of Prayerfulness

Prayer is a cornerstone for the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are prayerful as persons and as a family in their practice of the Jewish faith. Joseph and Mary taught Jesus His prayers and they prayed as a family. They kept the Commandments, kept holy the Sabbath and Holy Days (Luke 2:22-41), and gave thanks for their blessings at mealtime. As parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts, and uncles, are we teaching our children how to pray? As children, are we praying for others or only for ourselves? Are we remembering to say grace before our meals at home and when we dine in public? Are we keeping Sundays and Days of Obligation holy by attending Mass and celebrating family life with special activities, or are we instead shopping and doing work that could be done on other days of the week? Consider how Jesus, Mary, and Joseph prayed everyday and especially lived their lives on the ‘Sunday’ of their week.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Fourth Day
The Holy Family - Model of Humility

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph practiced the virtue of humility to a high degree. Their house, their clothing, and their food were always simple. Humility characterized and directed their work and their ideals. God resists the proud, but He grants His graces to the humble of heart (Matthew 5:5). Adopt the way of humility shown in the life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We should approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently. Not only do we receive God’s mercy in this Sacrament, but it also helps us to grow in humility. By learning this great virtue from the Holy Family, we will live happily and die peacefully.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Fifth Day
The Holy Family - Model of Purity

Our Lord said: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). In the Holy Family, everyone was pure in thought, word, and deed. Jesus is purity itself; Mary is the Blessed Virgin and the Immaculate Mother; Joseph is the most chaste spouse. A person’s purity is regularly under assault from the influences of the world, and this was true even in the time of the Holy Family. Pray for a pure heart and for desires that conform with God’s will. In addition to prayer, we can help our purity in a couple of ways. First - guard the purity we have today and guard it under the protection of the Holy Family – keep it safe from further loss. Consider what we read, watch on TV, or listen to on the radio. Second, pray that our own words, actions, and attire safeguard and protect the purity of others.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Sixth Day
The Holy Family - Model of Love

The love of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph is unconditional and faithful. Without love, holiness of life is impossible. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are perfect models of pure love, and, like all love, it requires sacrifice and forgiveness (Luke 2:48-51). Holy Family, we pray that we love as you love and embrace the sacrifice required to love and forgive when needed. Holy Family, help us to recognize that loving is a choice and not something we find. Help us to love faithfully and unconditionally even when love is not returned. As adults, help us to always love the children in our family with our hearts, words, and actions. As children, help us to love and respect our parents. Help us to see and love you, Jesus, in our brothers and sisters, especially in the suffering, poor, elderly, rejected, and unborn.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Seventh Day
The Holy Family Teaches Us to Work

Prayer and work were the continuous occupations of the Holy Family on earth. By the work of their hands, they earned the bread that nourished them and the clothing they wore (Matthew 13:54-56). It was the Holy Family who learned to sanctify work inside and outside of the home. Idleness is a source of vice; hence Jesus, Mary, and Joseph avoided it entirely. On the other hand, work can be the seed of virtue. Holy Family, teach us to make the everyday events of our lives and work into acts of loving God. Teach us to do our work with a Christian heart which will yield our best. Holy Family, help us to see where God wills us to volunteer our time and talents for serving our brothers and sisters.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Eighth Day
The Holy Family Teaches Us Trust in God

The Holy Family trusted in God. Mary and Joseph observed the law of Moses when they presented Jesus in the Temple. As immigrants fleeing from Herod, Joseph followed the will of God and trusted that God would provide. Jesus tells us to trust that the Father will provide (Matthew 6:25-34). By trusting in God and the laws He gives us through Scripture and His Church, we will draw closer to Jesus. How do we trust in God? Do we listen and strive to follow the guidance given to us by Scripture and His Church? Do we accept what is convenient and then ignore what calls us to sacrifice or change? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help us to accept, love, and trust in God’s will and His Church’s teachings, knowing that it is taught for our moral good and salvation. Help us see where we have avoided trusting in God by not following His will or the moral teachings of His Church.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Ninth Day
The Holy Family Teaches Us Interior Peace

The coming of the Holy Family into the world was the beginning of true and spiritual peace for our hearts. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph teach us how we can attain peace; namely, by imitating their lives. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11:30) may seem contrary to what we experience. Does living a holy life seem “easy” or more like a “struggle?” Our struggle is with our attachment to sin or our desire for material things of this world, not with living as Jesus lived. The more we separate ourselves from sin and material desires and live the virtues of the Holy Family, the more the burden is lifted and the more peaceful our lives become. As you journey with the Holy Family and change your life to be more like theirs, notice those moments of peace and joy. Know that these moments are times of grace from God that encourage us to keep moving in the same direction on our journey.

Meditate on these thoughts.
Then in honor of the Holy Family, pray The Holy Family Prayer, or pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

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