Saint Joseph is known as the foster-father of Jesus, according to the Bible (New Testament (Matthew 1:16; Luke 3:23). Not much is known of St. Joseph except that he was “of the House of David” and lived in the town of Nazareth. His date of death is unknown. Bible calls St. Joseph a “just man.” He was by trade a carpenter (Matthew 13:55). He is last mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that St. Joseph died before Jesus entered on his public ministry because only Mary was present at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee, and he is not described at the crucifixion along with Mary (John 19:25).
St. Joseph respected God and followed his commands. Most important thing that we need to learn from St. Joseph is that God is found in our work. If we do it well, we give him glory, and if we do it poorly, we offer him a meager sacrifice. Constant, daily work was good enough for Saint Joseph. Work is a pathway to holiness, and Saint Joseph the Worker stands by our side to encourage us towards the reward that our daily sweat and labor will earn.
What can we learn from the life of Saint Joseph? We learn that St. Joseph was a compassionate and caring man. He loved Jesus very dearly. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. The Bible tells us that when Jesus stayed in the Temple, Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48).
Feasts & Traditions
March 19 has been the most commonly celebrated feast day for Joseph, and it wasn’t until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” to be celebrated on May 1.This is also International Workers’ Day. In Spain, March 19 is celebrated as Father’s Day. In Sicily and many Italian American communities thanks are given to Saint Joseph (“San Giuseppe” in Italian) for preventing a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages.
St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of all workers.
Saint Joseph the Worker, inspires all laborers of mind or body to work for their daily bread as much as your glorification. May our work be done well to perfect us and to make us participants in completing the creation you began in Genesis.