If you seek a way to become closer to the hearts of Jesus, Mary, and good Saint Joseph, then I'd like to present this program designed to do just that. It is designed to prepare families for the coming Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Hearts of the Holy Family. It is a program that will, with the Grace of God, help us to go deeper into our faith.
The Church declared a Year of the Family, beginning on the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2021. It is a year dedicated to helping families achieve holiness in their homes by delving deeply into the hidden mysteries of the Holy Family, imitating that holy home of Nazareth where Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph lived.
When I was a child I remember feeling a closeness to the Holy Family. I was drawn to their peace and holiness, and believe my devotion came from praying the Rosary as a family. I learned about the Holy Family from my mother. As a very young child, growing up in Holyoke, Massachusetts, my parents, having emigrated from Quebec when I was a baby, spoke French in our home. My mother would say prayers with us every night in French, kneeling next to our beds before tucking us in. One specific prayer that I remember was: Vive Jésus, Marie et Joseph! (Long live Jesus, Mary & Joseph!) I was very young and was a bit confused hearing the two languages, French and English. When my mother recited the little prayer with my brothers and me at night, I heard my name, Yves, Jésus, Marie & Joseph! (Yves is pronounced Eve in English) rather than Vive Jésus, Marie and Joseph! I felt very privileged that I had a special place with the Holy Family, even more so than my two brothers!
Though I was a bit disappointed when it was later explained that it was not my name, Yves, being recited, but the word, Vive, I nonetheless, realized there was a certain truth there because we each need to enter into and become one with the Holy Family. In this way we can learn to live with virtue in the Divine Will, obtaining the peace manifested in the Holy House of Nazareth.
Over the years, the Rosary has been my guide. When I am meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, which are in fact the complete life of Christ, I re-live those events with the Holy Family. It is while holding the Rosary beads in my hands, pondering all the events of the life of Christ as my fingers move slowly over each bead, that their mission begins to manifest itself to me. I have come to see that in their lifetimes, over that stretch of 30 years together, all the mysteries of salvation that are contained in the Gospel were lived by the Holy Family. Their lives together were both a preparation and anticipation of the sorrows and glories yet to come!
Through this meditation we too can learn to live a life of holiness just as it was lived by the Holy Family more than 2000 years ago. In the booklet, Our Lady of America (which bears the imprimatur of Bishop Liebold - Jan. 25, 1963, and is available to order), Our Blessed Mother said to Sr. Mildred Neuzil:
"It is the wish of my Son that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth. We practiced the simple virtues of family life, Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity. The Holy Trinity dwelt with us in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined. For ours was the earthly paradise where once again God walked among men.
"As in our little home no sin was to be found, so it is the wish of the Heart of my Son and my Immaculate Heart, that sin should, as far as possible, be unheard of in the homes of our children.
"The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues of our life at Nazareth. Then, you also, my children, you also will become another paradise. God will then walk among you and you will have peace."
The Rosary is the tool to do this. Sr. Lucia, in the book, "Calls" from the Message of Fatima, said: "Even for those people who do not know how, or who are not able to recollect themselves sufficiently to meditate, the simple act of taking the Rosary in their hands in order to pray is already to become mindful of God, and to mention in each decade a mystery of the Life of Christ recalls Him to their minds; this in turn will light in their souls a gentle light of faith which supports the still smoldering wick, preventing it from extinguishing itself altogether."
If you can find it in your heart to pray the Rosary everyday, you too will begin to learn from the Holy Family how to live. Living and praying the Rosary, and learning to become true apostles of the family must be our goal in these trying times. We need the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary because the battle that is raging right now is a battle against the family. In every family a war is raging, a battle of serious consequence, a battle against the very soul of the home. It is now time to go into the refuge — the Refuge of the Hearts of the Holy Family.
Sr. Lucy of Fatima, in an interview (originally published in 2008) with Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, said, "…the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don't be afraid, anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. However, Our Lady has already crushed its [Satan's] head."
We are in the Year of Saint Joseph (December 8, 2020 - December 8, 2021). Many are following the Consecration to St. Joseph, promoted by Father Donald Calloway, MIC. in his book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. So many graces have been obtained through this consecration — even to a miraculous degree! It is highly recommended that all families consecrate themselves to the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. It is very important that we recognize the awesome role that he has in this day and age to restore the family and enable us all to live lives of purity.
This year we will celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11, 2021. The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be on June 12, 2021. According to a private revelation given to Edson Glauber of Brazil, the Feast of the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph should be celebrated June 16, 2021. What an opportunity to honor the Holy Family! Try to make these three days a special time for you and your family by consecrating yourself and your home to their protection.
Let us put all our hope and trust in the special protection of the Holy Family. Long Live Jesus, Mary & St. Joseph in this Year of the Family.