A depiction of the Holy Family with St. Joseph at work from Sebechleby, Slovakia, painted by an Italian painter in the early 20th century.

Spiritual Life

St. Joseph models the dignity of work

In this year of St. Joseph, and during the month of September when we honor the value of labor, Catholics are called to reflect on the life of the saint. As patron of workers, St. Joseph models the dignity of labor and the contribution that honest and honorable work makes in the lives of Jesus’ followers, especially when they dedicate their efforts to God.

In his Apostolic Exhortation on St. Joseph, “Guardian of the Redeemer,” St. John Paul II wrote:

“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.”

“Human work, and especially manual labor, receives 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, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.”


Prayer to St. Joseph for Success in Work

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labour,

obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, 

putting the call of duty above my many sins;

to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honour to employ and develop,

by means of labour, the gifts received from God;

to work with order, peace, prudence and patience,

never surrendering to weariness or difficulties; 

to work, above all, with purity of intention, and with detachment from self,

having always death before my eyes and the account which I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted,

of vain complacency in success so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch Joseph.

Such shall be my motto in life and death.


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