Monday, May 01, 2006


Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Church has for workmen a complete program of social principles and ideals, in which the dignity of the laborer has a sound basis in the spiritual values of work.
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.

God works always within His creation. He gives mankind a share of this creativity, so that we who work in the world will shape it after God's pattern. It is this sharing in God's activity that makes labor something truly noble. The feast of Saint Joseph the Workman gives the Catholic laborer a powerful patron and model in this vital apostolate. With full confidence we, the workers of the world, can look to Saint Joseph for aid in our efforts to build a better social order, one that has social charity as its soul.

And, God the Father, entrusted His own Son as an apprentice worker to the justice and charity of the humble carpenter of Nazareth. Christ consecrated work by being a "carpenter's son," [Matt. 13:55] working side by side with His foster father Joseph. Work, then, can serve to make us Christlike too.


Saint Joseph whose protection is so
great, so strong, so prompt before
the Throne of God, I place in you all
my interests and desires.
Oh Saint Joseph, do assist me by
your powerful intercession and
obtain for me from your
Divine Son, all spiritual blessings
through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below
your heavenly power, I may offer
my thanksgiving and homage to
the most loving of fathers
Oh Saint Joseph, I never weary
of contemplating you and Jesus
asleep in your arms. I dare not
approach while He reposes near
your heart. Press Him in my name
and kiss His fine head for me,
and ask Him to return the kiss
when I draw my dying breath.
Saint Joseph, Patron of the
departing souls, pray for us.

(According to ancient tradition:
Whoever reads this prayer or
hears it or carries it will
never die a sudden death,
nor be drowned, nor be
burned in any fire.)

This prayer is over 1900 years old and was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle.