The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. The subject became popular in art from the 1490s on, but veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a confraternity.
The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church, as well as in many Lutheran and Anglican churches, in honor of Jesus, His mother, and His step-father, Saint Joseph, as a family; it has been observed since 1921 when it was inserted by Pope Benedict XV. The primary purpose of this feast is to present the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. There are many churches dedicated to the Holy Family.
The Feast of the Holy Family falls within the season of Christmastide and in the General Roman Calendar since 1969, it is held on the Sunday between Christmas Day and January 1; if both are Sundays, the Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30th. For those communities keeping the General Roman Calendar of 1960 or the General Roman Calendar of 1954, the Feast is kept on the Sunday after Epiphany Day, which occurs on January 6th. Those two traditional calendars only differ in years when the Sunday after January 6th is January 13th. In such a case the General Roman Calendar of 1960 keeps the Holy Family on the 13th whereas the General Roman Calendar of 1954 moves the feast up to January 12th.