St. Joseph, the Worker. Artist: Leszek Celuch (1955-2020). St. Joseph Church, Grimsby, Ontario. Photos: Michel Archambault

“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!”

Excerpted from Pope Francis, St. Joseph, Pray for Us: Meditations and Prayers (Paulist Press, 2021). Used with permission.

Joseph, Model of Workers

Good Saint Joseph, when God wanted a family for his Son,
he looked among workers, and chose you along with Mary,
demonstrating God’s esteem for human work.

You put your heart into your work,
and you taught Jesus a livelihood.
Your vocation, along with that of others,
found new meaning with God’s inspiration.

Sustain in us the hope of finding jobs
when we are confronted
with the desolation of unemployment.
Counsel business leaders
to create an equitable division of labour
that is respectful of individual needs
and promotes human growth and happiness.

Help us to perform our work readily,
conscientiously, fairly and honestly.
Prepare our hearts to recognize your Son
in our colleagues at work. Amen.

Prayer from the Votive Chapel, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal, Quebec. Used with permission.

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