"With God and Jesus Christ excluded from political life,with authority derived not from God but from man,the very basis of that authority has been taken away,because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated.The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation." (Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925)
Reposted from Sancta Missa, History of the Liturgical Year, available here.
Why is this Feast celebrated today, instead of closer to Christmas? Because in Old Testament Law, a child wasn’t a son of Abraham or a true part of the family until his circumcision at 8 days of age, an event of Christ’s life that we celebrated on 1 January (from 25 December to 1 January are 8 days).
There are few private devotions associated with this day including the the blessing of children by their parents, the renewal of marriage vows (even if just privately), and consecration of the family to the Holy Family.
Consecration to the Holy Family
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou protect us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace and concord in Christian love: in order that by living according to the divine pattern of Thy family we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.
Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by the kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.
O Saint Joseph, most holy Guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity. Amen.
Say an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be three times.
The Feast of the Holy Family by St. Bernard of Clairvaux
In Mary we praise that which places her above all others, that is, fruitfulness of offspring together with virginity. For never has it been known in this world that anyone was at the same time mother and virgin. And see of Whom she is mother. Where does your astonishment at this so wondrous dignity lead you? Is it not to this, that you may gaze in wonder yet never sufficiently revere? Is she not in your veneration, nay, in the esteem of Truth itself, raised above choirs of angels? Does not Mary address the Lord and God of all the angels as Son, saying: Son, why hast thou done so to us?