St Dominic’s RC, Morvant receives tablets
April 28, 2021
For the Love of the Old
April 28, 2021

St Joseph, Model of Workers

By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI

What are you doing to observe the Year of St Joseph? You will recall that to mark the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter, Patris corde (With a Father’s Heart).

And he proclaimed a Year of St Joseph, beginning on  December 8, 2020, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020, and ending on the same feast on  December 8, 2021. Read about the special indulgences that have been granted on the occasion of the Year of St Joseph.

As we seek to build a just society, remember that the gospel attributes to St Joseph the title of “just man” (cf Mt 1,19). In the seven sections of Patris Corde, Pope Francis describes St Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father, a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.

In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the first of May as the Feast of St Joseph the Worker as a means to give all workers a model and protector.

As part of CCSJ’s/AMMR’s observation of the Year of St Joseph, we have launched a social media campaign, focusing on the monthly themes for the Year of St Joseph—adapted from St Joseph’s virtues and titles as prayed in the Litany of St Joseph.

May: Joseph, Model of Workers 

June: Joseph Most Chaste (June 9th we celebrate the Feast of the Most Chaste Heart of St Joseph)

 July: Joseph Most Faithful 

August: Joseph, Mirror of Patience 

September: Joseph, Solace of the Afflicted—as World Day of Migrants & Refugees will be celebrated on September 26 in our Church                  

October: Joseph, Most Just and Most Valiant Protector of the Church 

November: Joseph, Lover of Poverty and Patron of Dying, and Solace of the Afflicted 

December: Joseph, Pillar of Families 

During the Month of May, let’s reflect on Pope Francis’ words in section 6 of Patris corde – ‘A working Father – St Joseph, a father who teaches the value, dignity and joy of work’:

“An aspect of Saint Joseph that has been emphasised from the time of the first social Encyclical, Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, is his relation to work. Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity, and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour.

“In our own day, when employment has once more become a burning social issue, and unemployment at times reaches record levels even in nations that for decades have enjoyed a certain degree of prosperity, there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.

“Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the Kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion. It becomes an opportunity for the fulfilment not only of oneself, but also of that primary cell of society which is the family. A family without work is particularly vulnerable to difficulties, tensions, estrangement and even break-up. How can we speak of human dignity without working to ensure that everyone is able to earn a decent living?

“Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God Himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us. The crisis of our time, which is economic, social, cultural, and spiritual, can serve as a summons for all of us to rediscover the value, the importance and necessity of work for bringing about a new ‘normal’ from which no-one is excluded.

“Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God Himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters and has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities.

“Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!”

Let us entrust our daily work to the protection of St Joseph and pray for those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“Peace cannot be reduced to the simple absence of armed conflict, but needs to be understood as, ‘the fruit of an order which has been planted in human society by its divine Founder’, an order ‘which must be brought about by humanity in its thirst for ever more perfect justice’. (3)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace 2006

CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee