St Joseph the Worker Feast Day 2020.

Saint Joseph, the Worker is the universal Saint for whom people in all times have held a great fondness.

  • In Matthew’s Gospel we hear of Joseph as the Just Man, living in Nazareth.
  • Saint Teresa of Avila, “I took for my patron St. Joseph and recommended myself earnestly to him.”
  • Pope Francis, while attending Family Celebrations in the Philippines in 2015, had this to say of Joseph “I have a great love for St. Joseph because he is a man of STRENGTH and SILENCE. I have a statue of St Joseph asleep on my desk, and I put my written intentions under the statue each evening.”
  • James K Baxter (NZ) poet said: “Dear tolerant Saint…..You remind me of what I was born for: to accept the daily grind as God’s will.”
  • To Mary MacKillop, Saint Joseph was her Saint. In 1873, she wrote to the Sisters “in Joseph’s care I leave you.”

“May Day ” has long been dedicated for labour and working people. This was sponsored by Communist thought. In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. This was to give all workers a model and protector, thereby affirming the dignity of work. Today we sometimes witness this principle negated; the value upheld in the workplace is often “profit before people.”

Traditionally, the artist’s image of Joseph at the carpenter’s bench was where we met Joseph. In her book “In the Spirit of Joseph”, Mary Cresp RSJ shares insights which lead us to know that Joseph was a skilled builder working with hard substances…..wood and stone. He would have been well known and respected in his village.

The devoted family man’s work would also have included tending a garden to supply daily family needs. As was the custom, he would have kept small animals …sleep and goats.

Joseph demonstrated the value of hard honest work and the importance of sharing his skills in his village. Jesus was one of his apprentices.

Our 26th Chapter called us “to live on the edge of our existence with Joseph.” The time is now, as we pause to hear “the cry” of tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 virus. So that wherever we are, we will remember them.

As we celebrate the Feast on 1 May 2020, we ask Joseph to pray with us and for us:

Joseph, may we and those we know and love experience your loving and provident care in our lives.

Maureen Cahill rsj