Read: Welcome to February | The Month of the Holy Family

Welcome to February! This is the month during which the Church traditionally venerates the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. But why should we learn to love and, indeed, imitate the Holy Family? Richard Budd, Director of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Lansing, now explains. Richard writes:

"In the Holy Family we have one of the most profound elements of the Gospel: the WORD of God took on flesh and then spent 90% of his time on earth in the quiet confines of the daily life of Nazareth. There is a storehouse of riches for us to explore by meditating on the role of the family in the mission of the Church."

"St. John Paul the Great urged families to consider that, 'the humble dwelling place in Nazareth is an authentic school of the Gospel. Here we admire, put into practice, the divine plan to make the family an intimate community of life and love; here we learn that every Christian family is called to be a small 'domestic church' that must shine with the Gospel virtues. Recollection and prayer, mutual understanding and respect, personal discipline and community asceticism and a spirit of sacrifice, work and solidarity are typical features that make the family of Nazareth a model for every home.'”

"Throughout this month make a commitment to pray together as a family, work together as a family, play together, and practice the virtues together. Ash Wednesday in the middle of the month, consider adopting a common penance for the whole household to engage in together. And don’t forget to pray and ask the Holy Family to intercede that you might become a holy family too!"