photo of mary kissing baby jesus

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph


This  Rosary reflection contains the Gospel story of the Holy Family’s flight to and return from Egypt to escape the danger of Herod’s massacre of infant boys. 

The Gospel Account

The angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream and directs him to find safety by leaving Judea. Joseph obeys immediately and waits for the angel’s message to return to his homeland. Then, he discerns that Judea is not safe and resettles in Nazareth instead.

The Holy Family Reflection contains the verses of the story found in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Gospel passage. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.

First Decade: The Angel Warns Joseph in a Dream (Matthew 2:13)

When the Magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”

Second Decade: The Flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15)

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”

Third Decade: The Angel Tells Joseph to Return Home (Matthew 2:19-20)

When Herod had died, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel.”

Fourth Decade: Returning to Israel (Matthew 2:21-22)

He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archeleus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee.

Fifth Decade:  Settling in Nazareth (Matthew 2:23)

He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazorean.”

What to Remember

These Gospel verses reflect the interaction of God’s providence and human obedience to protect human life. Jesus was a vulnerable human infant, who needed the care and protection of his parents to survive and grow up as God’s Son on earth. As a father, Joseph was a righteous man who tuned into God’s guidance, through dreams of an angel speaking to him.

As a follower of Jesus, you have the privilege and obligation to protect your family members from harm and danger. The prayers of Mary and Joseph are with you to help keep your family safe.

What to Pray For 

  • For the grace and faith to listen to God’s direction, providence, and protection through divine and human angels.
  • For a greater devotion to the Holy Family for all parents that they may raise their children in holiness and humility.
  • For all migrant and refugee families who leave hostile conditions to seek safety.
  • For conversion of government leaders who oppose justice and peace for their people.

Feel free to pray this Scriptural rosary to meditate on a deeper connection with the Holy Family.

 When This Gospel Appears

This Gospel passage is proclaimed on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  The latest appearance was December 30, 2022.

* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website,

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