Today is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is the patron saint of workers. Pope Pius XII decided in 1955 to add the optional feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1, to counteract the Communists’ May Day holiday by Christianizing this European Labor Day.
Like St. Joseph, let us offer our work as an act of charity done for the love of God and for the love of others, for work well done is a work of love. Work has the capacity to perfect us in a heavenly way. Through our work, we share in the cross of Christ. Like the mystery of the Incarnation, Joseph performed his work in a quiet, hidden way, offering all that he did up to God. Let us imitate him in this way and thank God for the gift of our work, which draws us closer to Him.
Prayer to St. Joseph, as Patron of Workers
Blessed St. Joseph, patron of all working people, obtain for me the grace to labor in a spirit of penance for the atonement of my many sins. Help me to be conscientious in my work so that I may give as full a measure as I have received.
May I labor in a spirit of thankfulness and joy, ever mindful of all the gifts I have received from God that enable me to perform these tasks. Permit me to work in peace, patience, and moderation, keeping in mind the account I must one day give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vanity of success, so fatal to the work of God. Glorious St. Joseph, may my labors be all for Jesus, all through Mary, and all after your holy example in life and in death. Amen.
Dear Saint Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.