Why do we do that? Catholic Life Explained

What do we know about Joseph, Mary, and the rest of Jesus’ relatives?

You may see pictures of Joseph, Mary, and a young Jesus on the feast of the Holy Family. What we do know of them has been treasured throughout the ages. Both Joseph and Mary came from the tribe of Judah and were distant descendants of King David. Tradition gives us the names of Mary’s parents – Anne and Joachim – and we venerate them as saints. Joseph was a carpenter, and he taught Jesus his trade. We know that St. Elizabeth was related to Mary, and we call St. John the Baptist Jesus’ “cousin.”
In the Bible, we also see references to Jesus’ “brothers and sisters.” Who were these people? The most likely theory rests in the language of the time period. The Hebrew people spoke Aramaic. This language had no words for specific family roles. All male relatives were “brother” and all female relatives were “sister.” Like many people of his day, Jesus had a large family! So large that he got lost and needed to be found in the Temple. When you think of the Holy Family, remember that Jesus probably had quirky uncles, nosy aunts, doting grandparents, and cousins to play with, just like us!

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