Saint Joseph, Patron of Workers

Reflection By Allison Gingras

Work comes in many forms—some paid and some for which we are not; however, all work is extremely valuable. Joseph’s job during his life was twofold, to provide for his family as a carpenter and to work alongside Mary in bringing up Jesus. From one, there is rest, at least on the Sabbath; however, any weary parent of a newborn, toddler, rebellious teen, or even a young adult can attest little rest comes in parenting. Yet, both are incredibly rewarding and necessary in this world.

Joseph worked hard at both crafts. A glimpse, revealed in his tireless search, along with Mary when Jesus is lost after departing Jerusalem as a twelve-year-old boy. Found in his father’s house, a hint of Jesus’ work to come. Why include parenting in the reflection on Saint Joseph, Patron of Workers? Perhaps, a desire to assure no reader is neglected in the reflection but more so to remind us all the work we do, regardless of the size of a paycheck, matters.

The unemployed, underemployed, and those who choose to forego paid work to care for family likewise fall within the patronage of St. Joseph, patron and model of workers. Joseph, we know from his and Mary’s offering of turtledoves at the presentation of Jesus, was not a man of means. Yet can we recall a more blessed man (besides Jesus himself) in history? Joseph sees every family and whatever circumstances this world has given, taken, or presented, and he cares, bringing their intentions to El Roi—” the God who sees me.”

Like each of us, Joseph worried, doubted, and planned; however, what he did so well, which we can learn and imitate, is how he prayed, trusted, and surrendered to the will of God. He knew the Psalms, the Covenants, and promises of his God—our God, and he chose not only to believe but allow them to order his life. St. Joseph was grateful when God revealed the plan, but didn’t require that in order to move in faith. He worked hard, did what he could, entrusted in the love and providence of the Lord to do the rest.

Work comes in many forms; it is not only part of our career or family life but also part of our spiritual journey. St. Joseph was prepared for his role in salvation history because he put his work of growing close to God first before all other responsibilities. Saint Joseph, patron of workers, in all the ways we work, pray for us. 

Consecration to St. Joseph ~ Prayers for Week Four

Prayer to St. Joseph, Patron of Workers

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor,
obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations,
to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins,
considering it an honor to employ
and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God,
to work with order, peace, moderation and patience,
without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties,
to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self,
having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost,
of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success,
so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example,
O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

~ Pope St. Pius X

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us. *recite after each invocation

Saint Joseph,

Noble son of the House of David,

Light of patriarchs,

Husband of the Mother of God,

Guardian of the Virgin,

Foster father of the Son of God,

Faithful guardian of Christ,

Head of the Holy Family,

Joseph, chaste and just,

Joseph, prudent and brave,

Joseph, obedient and loyal,

Pattern of patience,

Lover of poverty,

Model of workers,

Example to parents,

Guardian of virgins,

Pillar of family life,

Comfort of the troubled,

Hope of the sick,

Patron of the dying,

Terror of evil spirits,

Protector of the Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

God made him master of his household,
And put him in charge of all that he owned.

Let us pray.

O God, who in your inexpressible providence were pleased to choose Saint Joseph as spouse of the most holy Mother of your Son, grant, we pray, that we, who revere him as our protector on earth, may be worthy of his heavenly intercession.
Through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

[During the Year of Saint Joseph: This litany is ordinarily enriched with a partial indulgence (Manual of Indulgences, conc. 22). During the Year of Saint Joseph, however—which lasts from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021—the use of the Litany of Saint Joseph has been included among other prayers to St. Joseph enriched with a plenary indulgence (see Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued Dec. 8, 2020, section E), which may be earned once a day subject to the usual conditions: sacramental confession, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Pope, and a total detachment to all sin, including venial sin. Source: USCCB]

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