Today, May 1st, is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. Yesterday I discussed the way in which Daytime Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours consecrates our working day [here]; today we celebrate the Patron Saint of Workers and of work, none other than the foster father of Jesus himself.
Both of these are a clear reflection of a belief that Catholics have always held: that work is a good thing, and closely connected with our dignity as human beings created in the likeness and image of God. Pope Francis spoke of this ancient Christian teaching earlier this year:
“It is necessary to reaffirm that employment is necessary for society, for families and for individuals”, said the Pope. “Its primary value is the good of the human person, as it allows the individual to be fully realised as such, with his or her attitudes and intellectual, creative and manual capacities. Therefore, it follows that work has not only the economic objective of profit, but above all a purpose that regards man and his dignity [full story here].
Work helps enable us to become more fully ourselves, because through it we participate, even if in a small way, in God’s great act of Creation. And it’s appropriate that its patron should be St. Joseph, who taught the child Jesus about work, and was his model of human manhood. We should follow the example of Christ and make St. Joseph our model as well as we go about our day, and remember that our labor is sacred.
Litany of St. Joseph [here]
My post on March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph [here]