Carpenter, husband of Mary, guardian of the Redeemer
+ The commemoration of Saint Joseph the Worker was established in 1950 by Pope Pius XII as a Christian response to Communist celebrations of “May Day.”
+ Pope Pius hoped that this special day, honoring the life of labor and service of Saint Joseph, would inspire Christian laborers to recognize the value and dignity that come through working to support families and communities.
+ Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated Saint Joseph’s service to Jesus and Mary in their home at Nazareth in his encyclical Redemptoris Custos (“The Guardian of the Redeemer”): “Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of Redemption.”
This year, the Commemoration of Saint Joseph the Worker marks the first annual celebration of Religious Brothers Day, a time to celebrate the contributions of religious brothers to the life of the Church. For centuries, Saint Joseph has been considered a patron saint of religious brothers and a model for their lives of humility and service.
“St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies; … he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things — it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic.”—Blessed Pope Paul VI
O God, Creator of all things,
who laid down for the human race the law of work,
that by the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage
we may complete the works you set us to do
and attain the rewards you promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.