To you, O Blessed Joseph, do we come in our need, confident that you will hear our prayer. Through the tender and chaste love that bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look upon us with the same affection and through your power and strength aid us in our necessities. (mention petitions)
O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of Mary our Mother, obtain for each of us a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine Will. Be our guide, our father, and our model through life, that we may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.
O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petition.
Reflections excerpted from Guardian of the Redeemer, by St. John Paul II.
Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth. The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph's entire life. For Jesus, these were his hidden years: "And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them" (Lk 2:51). This "submission" or obedience of Jesus in the house of Nazareth should be understood as a sharing in the work of Joseph. Jesus was known as "the carpenter's son."
If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, is Jesus' work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, St. Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.
In the human growth of Jesus "in wisdom, age and grace," the virtue of industriousness played a notable role, since "work is a human good" which "transforms nature" and makes man "in a sense, more human."
The importance of work in human life demands that its meaning be known and assimilated in order to "help all people to come closer to God, the Creator and Redeemer, to participate in his salvific plan for man and the world, and to deepen...friendship with Christ in their lives, by accepting, through faith, a living participation in his threefold mission as Priest, Prophet and King."
What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification each person must acquire according to his or her own state. "St. Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies;...he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things - it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic."
The silence that envelops everything else about Joseph also shrouds his work as a carpenter in the house of Nazareth. It is, however, a silence that reveals in a special way the inner portrait of this noble man. The Gospels speak exclusively of what Joseph "did." Still, they allow us to discover in his "actions"-shrouded in silence as they are - an aura of deep contemplation.
May St. Joseph help us to do our daily work with a contemplative attitude, as we dedicate our gifts of nature and grace to serving Our Lord in the mystery of redemption.