Holy Family is the name given to the family of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic and Anglican confessions of faith limit the family to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Other confessions understand the biblical accounts as indicating that Jesus had brothers and sisters.
In the Roman Catholic church the feast of the Holy Family is held on the first Sunday after Christmas. Depictions of the Holy Family, probably derived from the theme of the Nativity in medieval representations, became popular in the Renaissance. Of the innumerable paintings of the Holy Family, those by Michelangelo, Bartolome Murillo, Peter Paul Rubens, and Luca Signorelli may be the best examples.
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We recently received an e-mail from a woman who seemed to have a brilliant insight regarding this subject. Inasmuch as we are unaware that any scholar has address her point, we have decided to include it here, as a possible seed for future investigation.
"Their belief that Mary was ever-virgin stems from the beliefs of the Early Church Fathers as well as the lack of Scriptural evidence for Jesus full blood siblings. One point I found fascinating: When Jesus was dying on the cross, He gave Mary into the care of the Apostle John, not His younger siblings. In Jewish culture, that's highly insulting, something Jesus would never do to His own beloved brothers and sisters.
(Her point seems very strong! Even under the duress of being on the Cross, it is unimaginable that Jesus would commit such a drastic social error.)
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