+ 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”):
+ The Commemoration of Saint Joseph the Worker is also celebrated as Religious Brothers Day, a time to honor 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.
For prayer and reflection
“Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labor… Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!“—Pope Francis, Patris Corde(no. 6
On this day, the Church also honors the memory of Saint Peregrine Laziosi. This Servite priest is honored as the patron of those suffering from cancer. Saint Peregrine died in 1345 and was canonized in 1746.
To learn about the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker in Walton, Kentucky, visit: www.ssjw.org/
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.