The Holy Family Association was originally established by Pope Leo XIII with the Apostolic brief Neminem Fugit (1892). The purpose and aim of the Association was to spread the devotion of the Holy Family so as to bring families ever closer to Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Pope Pius XI assigned the religious congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family the General Secretariat of the Holy Family Association in 1928.
In the early 1920's, Fr. Salvador Gene, S.F., brought the Holy Family Association in the USA, establishing the Holy Family Monthly Home Visit in the Santa Cruz Parish, (New Mexico).
Each “Coro” (group of families) is formed by 15-30 families, which a “Celador” or “Celadora” (Custodian) appointed to be responsible for the organization of the Coro. This Custodian, with the help of all members of his/her Coro, is responsible for obtaining the Capillita, a little shrine consisting of a statue image of Jesus, Mary and Joseph enclosed in a fine finished wooden niche with a glass front. The Custodian plans a monthly schedule which enables each member family to be visited by the little shrine one or several days of the month for the family devotion.
The family recites the prayers before the little shrine thus establishing a spiritual communion with the Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and with the whole Church. Recalling the examples of Joseph as worker, Mary as Mother, and Jesus as Son, prayers are made to obtain grace to live in harmony of thought, will and action.
A special day is set in the liturgical calendar of the Church, the Feast of the Holy Family, during the Christmas season, when all the members of the Holy Family Association go to Mass to celebrate their patrons and to install new members. At this particular Mass, all the little shrines are brought to the parish as a symbol of the unity and togetherness of the families.