Oil dedicated to The Holy Family on Prayer Cloth
The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. The subject became popular in art from the 1490s on, but veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a confraternity.
The Feast s a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church, as well as in many Lutheran and Anglican churches, in honour of Jesus, His mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family; it has been observed since 1921 when it was inserted by Pope Benedict XV. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. There many churches dedicated to the Holy Family.
From the 17th century, the feast has celebrated at a local and regional level. And at that level promoted by Pope Leo XIII. In 1921, Pope Benedict XV made it part of the General Roman Calendar. And set on the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany (cf. Epiphanytide). That is to say, on the Sunday between January 7 through January 13. All inclusive (see General Roman Calendar of 1954).
The 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar. Moved the celebration of the Holy Family to the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas. That is, the Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (both exclusive). Or if both Christmas Day and the Solemnity of Mary. Mother of God are Sundays, on 30 December, which is always a Friday in such years. When not celebrated on a Sunday, it is not a holy day of obligation. In the General Roman Calendar of 1969 the Feast of the Holy Family outranks. The various saints whose feastdays fall during the Octave of Christmas. Namely Saint Stephen, Saint John the Apostle and the Holy Innocents. In a departure from the General Roman Calendar of 1954.