Saint Joseph, the Patron of Workers

Saint Joseph, the virginal spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who guarded and protected her in her Divine Maternity, is, as a member of the Holy Family, one of a trinity in Heaven which every Christian heart must turn to in veneration and prayer. Saint Joseph was thirty years old when he married Our Lady, and sixty years old when he died. His genealogy is the first one given in the New Testament. He is fore typed in the Old Testament by Joseph, the son of Jacob, tall, handsome, noble, and with a coat of many colors. Saint Joseph died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Saint Joseph has two feast days: one on March 19, to commemorate his death, and now, one on May 1, to commemorate his vocation as a carpenter and as the patron and protector of all workers. Saint Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church, tells us that the Holy Family had no servants. Our Lord, as God, let Himself be innocently taught the trade of a carpenter by Saint Joseph in order to show us what sanctity can be attached to the simple and humble role of a workman, provided all one’s work is done in prayerful dedication to God. Lowly and laborious trades are elevated and exalted in the sight of God because the foster father of Jesus on this earth was a carpenter. This is the childlike lesson of May 1.

Gerard van Honthorst, “Jesus in Saint Joseph’s workshop,” oil on canvas. St. Petersburg, Hermitage museum