Day 4: Novena to St Joseph the Worker
In speaking with you, dear brothers and sisters, I would like to emphasize a characteristic aspect of work which is usually called “overall quality”. In essence, it involves man’s condition in the productive process: only his active participation in this process can make the business firm a real “community of persons” (cf. Centesimus annus, n. 35). This is a challenge that accompanies the advanced progress of new technologies, which have the merit of reducing, at least in part, the element of human exertion in work. The challenge must be met so that the “indirect employer”, that is, all the “forces” that determine the entire socio-economic system or result from it (cf. ibid., n. 17), can be at the service of man and of society.
Dear employers, financiers, trade unions and all of you who, by your cooperation and enterprise, put yourselves at the service of a development worthy of man, a particularly challenging but very important task lies before you. Without doubt, human liberation with regard to work depends in large part on the direction taken by finance and the economy: these must have an ever better grasp of their distinctive element, that is, the particular “service” they are called to render to development.
The serious phenomenon of unemployment, which affects men, women and young people, and for which a solution is sought in many ways, would certainly have a positive outcome if economics, finance and the national and global organization of work itself were never to lose sight of the good of man as their ultimate goal.
Novena Prayer to St Joseph the Worker
O glorious patriarch St Joseph, humble and just workman of Nazareth, who has given to all Christians but especially to us, the example of a perfect life of assiduous work and admirable union with Mary and Jesus, help us in our daily tasks, so that we Catholic workmen may also be able to find in them the efficacious means to glorify our Lord, to sanctify ourselves, and to be useful to the society in which we live – all as supreme ideals of our actions.
Obtain for us from our Lord, O beloved Protector, humility and simplicity of heart, love of work, and benevolence toward those who are our companions in it; conformity to the divine will in the inevitable sufferings of this life, and joy in bearing them; a consciousness of our specific social mission and a sense of our responsibility; a spirit of discipline and of prayer; docility and respect toward our superiors; brotherhood toward our equals; charity and indulgence for those who depend on us. Be with us in moments of success, when everything beckons us to taste the honest fruits of our fatigue; but sustain us in our hours of sadness, when heaven seems to be closed against us and the very instruments of labor seem to rebel in our hands.
We raise our hearts to you now, St Joseph, to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining for us from the divine Heart of Jesus these special graces and favors: (……)
Grant that according to your example we may keep our eyes fixed on our mother Mary, your most sweet spouse, who silently used to do her weaving in a corner of your modest workshop, with the sweetest smile playing on her lips. Grant that we may not lose sight of Jesus, who busied himself with you at your carpenter’s bench. Thus may we be able to lead a peaceful and holy life on earth, as a prelude to that eternally happy one which awaits us in heaven forever and ever. Amen.