Tuesday, May 01, 2012

St. Joseph the Workman

Today it is Labor Day in my native Brazil and in many other countries in the world, but not in the United States, for political reasons. In 1955 the Church instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (or Workman) on this day to give the faithful in the world a model of a saintly laborer in the person of good Saint Joseph. I quote from a Catholic site:

On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII granted a public audience to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, whose members had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their society. They were solemnly renewing, in common, their promise of loyalty to the social doctrine of the Church, and it was on that day that the Pope instituted the liturgical feast of May 1st, in honor of Saint Joseph the Worker. He assured his audience and the working people of the world: “You have beside you a shepherd, a defender and a father” in Saint Joseph, the carpenter whom God in His providence chose to be the virginal father of Jesus and the head of the Holy Family. He is silent but has excellent hearing, and his intercession is very powerful over the Heart of the Saviour.
We can conclude from the role for which Saint Joseph was chosen and named by Heaven that he was a man of tried virtue and consummate holiness. No other mortal man would ever hold a higher office. Saint Joseph surpassed all the Saints of the Old Law in sanctity; in him the virtue of his ancestors reached its culmination and perfection. Like Abraham, he was a man of faith and obedience; like Isaac, one of prayer and vision; like Jacob, he was patient and self-sacrificing; like Joseph of Egypt, his chastity was inviolable. And like David, of whom he is the direct descendant, he is a royal intercessor according to the heart of God. Ite ad Joseph — Go to Joseph; to Joseph of Egypt, the pharaoh told the needy to go for assistance to receive the grain that would save their lives. To the new Joseph, the just man to whom the Son of God Himself was subject as to a father, all Christians can go with confidence, and he will see to their spiritual and temporal needs with paternal goodness.

We have said this novena for the past nine days for our family and for some special intentions, and I have grown to love the words in the traditional prayer below. Happy feastday!

Novena to St. Joseph the WorkmanComposed by Pope St. Pius X(State your petitions) 
O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor,obtain the grace for me 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 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 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, through Mary, all after thine own example, O Patriarch St. Joseph.Such shall be my watchword in life and in death.

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