May 1st – Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

May 1st is celebrated in many countries throughout the world as worker’s day or labour day. It is a day to celebrate human work and its contribution to our world. We also recognise the rights of workers to a living wage and good working conditions. May 1st in the Catholic calendar celebrates the feast of St Joseph the Worker.
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In our National Marian Shrine, in the apparition chapel at Knock there is a beautiful statute of St Joseph. It shows him, head bowed, hands joined in the presence of Mary before an altar on which the Lamb of God is standing.  The posture of Joseph – a gentle, yet supportive and strong presence – is just as he is described in the Gospels. Although there is no record of St Joseph speaking in any of the Gospels, the picture that emerges of him, in the scripture and in tradition of the Church, is that Joseph is a worker, a carpenter, a protector; he is generous, loving, and courageous; a good husband to Mary and a caring guardian for Jesus; a person of great faith and trust, a person of wisdom. St Joseph is therefore a great model for men and women in their daily lives. Joseph, the man of prayer, deep faith, and hope in God – whose life with God and obedience to God’s will is something that all Christian people strive to follow.

Popular trust in St Joseph is seen in the expression “Go to Joseph”. Throughout history innumerable holy men and women were passionately devoted to St Joseph. Among them was the great Carmelite Saint, Teresa of Avila, who chose him as her intercessor, had frequent recourse to him and received whatever favours she asked of him. In this Year of St Joseph, on his feast day I invite you to pray to St Joseph especially for families and friends whose work and businesses have been affected by the pandemic and pray for all who are experiencing economic hardship and are unemployed.

 

 

 

Prayer to Saint Joseph

 

O Saint Joseph, you are a man greatly

favoured by the Most High. The angel of

the Lord appeared to you in dreams, while

you slept, to warn you and guide you as you

cared for the Holy Family. You were both

silent and strong, a loyal and courageous

protector. Dear Saint Joseph, as you rest in

the Lord, confident of his absolute power

and goodness, look upon me. Please take

my need into your heart, dream of it, and

present it to your son (mention your

request). Help me then, good Saint Joseph,

to hear the voice of God, to arise, and to

act with love. I praise and thank God with

joy. Saint Joseph, I love you.

 

Michael Troy,

Prior Provincial

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