Bishops announce Christmas Crib ‘Prayer to the Holy Family’

7 Dec, 2016 | News

At their Winter General Meeting which concluded in Maynooth today, bishops announced a Christmas Crib Prayer to the Holy Family as part of preparations for the World Meeting of Families 2018.

On 22 October, formal preparations began for the 9th World Meeting of Families 2018 and these are being led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin as President and host, and by Father Timothy Bartlett in his role as Secretary General.  Last May, Pope Francis chose “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” as the theme for this major pastoral celebration which will take place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August 2018.

At their meeting, bishops encouraged the faithful to pray the Prayer to the Holy Family which has been written by Pope Francis and which he published in this year’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love):

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendor of true love;
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.


600,000 copies of Pope Francis’ Prayer to the Holy Family are being made available to parishes across Ireland so that families can take a copy home after Christmas Mass from their church’s crib.  The prayer is available in eleven languages: English, Irish, Polish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and in Arabic and the Catholic Church across the world is being asked to place the Prayer to the Holy Family near parish cribs at the Christmas Vigil Mass on Christmas Eve, and also throughout the Christmas season.



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