Feast of St. Joseph, The Worker
From the beginning the church has emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter in an effort to keep Him from being removed from ordinary human life. Jesus’ foster father, Joseph obviously trained him in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God, not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind. Ultimately it is for building up of the Body of Christ.
“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15). The Father created all and asked humanity to continue the work of creation. We find our dignity in our work, in raising a family and in participating in the life of the Father’s creation. Joseph the Worker was able to participate in the deepest mystery of creation.
Pius XII emphasizes this when he says, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-men, 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. Thus, if you wish to be close to Christ, we again today repeat, ‘Go to Joseph.’”
The church has always regarded St. Joseph as the patron of workers. This novena — a prayer to be said over nine days — is perfect for those times when we have an important project or assignment that we’re having trouble completing.
Novena to St. Joseph the Worker
O God, the Creator of all things,
You have laid the law of labor
upon the human race.
Grant, we beseech You,
that by the example and protection
of St. Joseph
we may perform the work
You command and attain to
the reward that You promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ.