The Feast of St Joseph the Worker.

On Friday 1st May we celebrate the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.

Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955. The Feast builds on a long tradition linking St Joseph, dignity of work and the causes of workers. In the Book of Genesis, God commands humanity to care for his creation and they are to be stewards of the Earth. Through work humanity both fulfills the command found in Genesis to care for the earth (Gn 2:15) and to be productive in their labours.

In tradition, Joseph, the Carpenter is seen as being the best role model of conscientious work, being the first teacher of Jesus to whom he taught the trade of carpentry.

In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated: “the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.”

Saint Joseph is held up as a model of such work. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Saviour of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.”

Today, we pray for all workers and for those denied their right to work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.