Pope to meet large families on feast of the Holy Family
Pope Francis will mark the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth on Sunday meeting some 7000 people belonging to large families of Italy. Before his midday ‘Angelus’ prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he will meet the group in Vatican’s audience hall. The meeting with the Pope is being organized by Italy’s National Association of Large Families (ANFN), which is is marking its 10th anniversary with a national assembly on the theme, “The Family, Our Goal”, Dec. 26-28. The Italian Association of Large Families is a member of the European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC), which was constituted in 2004 and represents more than 50 million European citizens making up nearly 9 million large families. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, will celebrate a Mass for the families in the audience hall, before the meeting with the Pope.
The feast of the Holy Family is celebrated in the Catholic Church on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, or on Dec. 30. This year the feast falls on Dec. 28, when the Church also marks the feast of the Holy Innocents, in commemoration of the massacre of young male children in Bethlehem by King Herod, to avoid the loss of his throne to Jesus, the newborn King of the Jews.