Every two years, World Family Day chooses a different country to have the encounter. This year it's Ireland's turn. The country has been preparing for World Family Day in several ways. The Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother are also preparing families for such a big encounter for Ireland and the Universal Church.
All of Ireland's parishes have received an icon of the Holy Family, which is the official icon of World Family Day. To make the icon more accessible to parish families, the Servant Sisters have printed a picture of the icon and placed it on wood, embellishing it and making it fit for church use.
On December 30, at the Vigil Mass of the Feast of the Holy Family, the icon received a solemn blessing with holy water and incense. After Mass, the faithful were given the opportunity to sign up for a turn of having the icon in their home for a week. In their homes, it would be an occasion for the family to pray together, invite neighbors to pray with them, and contemplate the example of the Holy Family. Along with the icon comes a booklet, explaining what an icon is and containing prayers for the family. Presently, there are over 40 families signed up. They will continue to take turns having the icon in their homes until World Family Day, which will take place from August 22-26, 2018.
What better way to spiritually prepare for the encounter than by contemplating the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?