‘Saint Joseph the Worker’ Holy Card
Image: Catholic Springtime
(Passionist Nuns) Today we celebrate the Feast of ‘St. Joseph the Worker’ (established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor) in response to ‘May Day’ celebrations by Communists.
Joseph the carpenter of Nazareth reminds us of the dignity and importance of labor (that some in our day seriously lack the initiative of, I digress) and that work is part of God’s plan for the world according to EWTN by responsibly cultivating the goods of creation, we grow in dignity as Women and Men made in God’s image.
By the daily labor in his shop, Joseph offered to God the patience and joy of providing the necessities to his Holy Spouse and of the incarnate Son of God an example to all laborers.
“Workman and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares.” –Pope Leo XIII
The texts of the Mass and the Liturgy of the hours provide a catechetical synthesis of the significance of labor seen in the light of faith.
The Opening Prayer states: “O God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race the law of work, graciously grant that by the example of St. 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, forever and ever.”
The Office of Readings, is taken from the document of the Second Vatican Council on the Church in the modern world.
In every type of labor that we do, we are obeying the Command of God given in Genesis 2:15 –”The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till (work the soil) and keep it.”
The liturgy for today’s feast vindicates the right to work and this message that needs to be heard and heeded especially in our day.
There is a special dignity and value to the work done caring for ones family (and extended family) The Office of Readings contains an excerpt from the Vatican II document on the modern world:
“For while providing the substance of life for themselves and their families, men and women are performing their activities in a way which appropriately befits society, The can justly consider that by their labor they are unfolding the Creator’s work, consulting the advantages of their brother men and are contributing by their personal industry to the realization in history of the divine plan.” –Gaudium Et Spes –Man’s Activity Throughout the World –No. 34
More here from Catholic Culture and here from Vatican Radio