Today we recall St. Joseph the Worker and remember that St. Joseph trained Jesus as a carpenter. We too must become holy and remember to offer up our prayers, works, joys and sufferings each day in a Morning Offering Prayer.
What we know of St. Joseph comes from the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke. And what the scriptures tell us is that St. Joseph was a silent servant of God. St. Joseph owned little possessions but he was a descendant of David and full of the grace of God. There is not one recorded sentence spoken by St. Joseph, but the Gospels are clear that he acted kindly towards Mary and Jesus. He cared for them when Herod sought to kill Our Lord, and after the threat passed, he quietly passed away. For that reason, he is frequently recognized as the patron of a peaceful death. In the words of Pope Leo XIII: "Workman and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares."
According to tradition, St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, watches over and guards the Church. Numerous saints also had devotions to St. Joseph including Saint Bernard, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Gertrude, Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Alphonsus and Saint Teresa of Avila.
Why have a devotion to St. Joseph?
“To the other Saints it appears that the Lord may have granted power to succor us on particular occassions; but to this Saint, as experience proves, He has granted power to help us on all occassions. Our Lord would teach us that, as he was pleased to be subject to Joseph upon the earth, so He is now pleased to grant whatever this Saint asks for in heaven. Others whom I have recommended to have recourse to Joseph, have known this from experience. I never knew any one who was particularly devout to him, that did not continually advance more and more in virtue. For the love of God, let him who believes not this make his own trial. And I do not know how any one can think of the Queen of Angels, at the time when she labored so much in the infancy and childhood of Jesus, and not return thanks to Joseph for the assistance which he rendered both to the Mother and to the Son" (St. Teresa of Avila)
Prayer to Saint Joseph
To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we seek with confidence thy patronage also. By that affection wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God; by the fatherly love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech thee to look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased for us by His Blood, and to help us in our need by thy powerful intercession.
Defend, O thou most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, O thou our most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, so that imitating thy example and strengtheded by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.