St. Joseph the Worker

By Fr. Kevin Magner

This Saturday is the memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. Since this has been declared the year of St. Joseph we will be having Mass on Saturday morning at 8:30.

The feast day of St. Joseph the Worker is a relatively new one. It was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in response to the “May Day” worker celebrations sponsored by Communists. The pope’s intention was to inspire deeper devotion to St. Joseph and to promote the dignity of work.

The work of man has long been celebrated as a participation in the creative work of God. This begins in the Book of Genesis, as God settles Adam in the Garden of Eden “to cultivate and care for it”. (Genesis 2:15)

As a carpenter, St. Joseph is held up as an example of the goodness of human labor. Pope Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.”

As we all sometimes struggle with our work, let us remember the good example of St. Joseph the Worker in the prayer composed by Pius XII:

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

Have a blessed week!