In this lowly dwelling at Nazareth, by practising the domestic virtues of charity, obedience, mutual help and regard, Jesus, Mary and Joseph hallowed family life (Collect, Epistle and Gospel). There too they constantly found joy and peace in recollection and prayer in common. May the great Christian family practise here on earth the virtues of the Holy Family, so meriting a life in their blessed company in Heaven (Collect).
Benedict XV, being desirous of securing for souls the blessings flowing from meditation on the virtues of the Holy Family and from their imitation, extended this feast to the universal Church, fixing its observance for the Sunday in the Octave of the Epiphany. When this Sunday happens to be the Octave Day of the Epiphany, the feast is kept on the day before.
Exsultat gaudio pater Justi, gaudeat Pater tuus et Mater tua, et exsultet quae genuit te. * Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum: concupiscit et deficit anima mea in atria Domini.The father of the just rejoiceth greatly, let Thy father and Thy mother be joyful, and let her rejoice that bore Thee. * How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! my soul longeth an fainteth for the courts of the Lord.
(Proverbs 23: 24-25 and Psalm 83:2-3 from the Introit of Mass)
Domine Jesu Christe, qui Mariae et Joseph subditus domesticam vitam ineffabilibus virtutibus consecrasti: fac nos, utriusque auxilio, Familiae sanctae tuae exemplis instrui; et consortium consequi sempiternum.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who when Thou wast subject to Mary and Joseph didst sanctify the home life with ineffable virtues: grant that by their assistance, we may be instructed by the example of Thy Holy Family and become partakers of their eternal happiness.
Vota, quaesumus, Domine, supplicantis populi coelesti pietate prosequere: ut et quae agenda sunt, videant, et ad implenda quae viderint, convalescant.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, hear of Thy Heavenly goodness the prayers of Thy suppliant people: that they may both perceive what things they ought to do, and also may have power to fulfil the same.
(Commemoration of the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany)
Deus, qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum gentibus stella duce revelasti: concede propitius; ut, qui jam te ex fide cognovimus, usque ad contemplandam speciem tuae celsitudinis perducamur.
O God, Who on this day, didst manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles by the guidance of a star: graciously grant, that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be led on even to contemplate the beauty of Thy Majesty.
(Commemoration of the Epiphany)
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
When Jesus was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His wisdom, and His answers. And when they saw Him they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did ye not know that I must be about My Father's business? And they understood not the word which He spoke to them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth: and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age, and grace with God and men.
(St Luke 2:42-52)