Day 7: Novena to St Joseph the Worker

Today the Church is honoring St. Joseph, the “just man”, who in the humility of the shop in Nazareth by the work of his own hands, provides support for the Holy Family. Today, therefore, is above all the day of men of work. To you, therefore, workers, farmers, artisans, fishermen, to you workers of the land and the sea, who with daily sweat earn what is necessary for your families, I wish to address in a special way my thought and my word in order to point out for your reflection the example of one who, having shared your experience, can understand your problems; take up your anxieties, direct your efforts toward the building of a better future.

Saint Joseph stands before you as a man of faith and prayer. The Liturgy applies to him the word of God in Psalm 89: “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the rock, my Savior'” (v. 27). O yes: how many times in the course of long days of work would Joseph have raised his mind to God to invoke him, to offer him his toil, to implore light, help, comfort. How many times! Well then, this man, who with his whole life seemed to cry out to God: “You are my father”, receives this most special grace: the Son of God on earth treats him as his father.

Joseph invokes God with all the ardor of his soul as a believer: “my Father”, and Jesus, who worked at his side with the tools of a carpenter, addressed him calling him “father”.

(from Pope John Paul II)

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.

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