1 May 2012

St Joseph the Worker

Prayer composed by Blessed Pope John XXIII (1958-63). It places all workers under the patronage of St. Joseph the Worker, and asks for his intercession so that we may regard our work as a means of growing in holiness.

A Prayer for Workers

O glorious Joseph! Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons, especially entrusted to you.

You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother. Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God. Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls. Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil. Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did.   
From About.com Guide:

May 1 has long been celebrated as "May Day," a holiday dedicated to laborers. For many years, May Day was associated with socialism and communism, and the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries held massive rallies and parades to mark the day.

The religious significance of May Day is less well known. In 1955, Pope Pius XII designated May 1 as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. A staunch anticommunist, Pope Pius wanted to stress the Christian dimension of labor and hoped that the feast would draw attention to the Church's social teaching, which has been critical of the exploitation of workers under both communism and capitalism.

With the revision of the Catholic calendar after Vatican II, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker was made an optional memorial. While the celebration is less public, devotion to Saint Joseph the Worker continues.

1 comment:

  1. I love this image of Christ and Joseph. Do you have any info on the painting, at least the title or the artist? I'd lime to get a print of it for my son's room.