+ 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.”
The Commemoration of Saint Joseph the Worker is also celebrated as Religious Brothers Day. This is a time to recall 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. To learn more about life as a religious brother and Religious Brothers Day, visit: https://nrvc.net/292/publication/5311/article/13029-religious-brothers-day-may-1-2018
“Where men and women, in the course of gaining a livelihood for themselves and their families, offer appropriate service to society, they can be confident that their personal efforts promote the work of the Creator, confer benefits on their fellowmen, and help to realize God’s plan in history.”—Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes n. 34
To learn about the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker in Walton, Kentucky, visit: http://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,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.