Our Morning Offering – 1 May – Wednesday of the Second week of Easter, the first day of Mary’s Month and the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker
Transforming our daily work into something beautiful for God.
On 1 May 1955, Venerable Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) established a new Memorial in the Church’s calendar, dedicating 1 May to “St Joseph the Worker.” He sought to affirm the rights of workers and to put forth St Joseph as the supreme model.
“As the Vicar of Christ, we wish to reaffirm highly, on this day of 1 May… the dignity of work and [to] inspire social life and laws, based on a fair share of rights and duties … We have determined to establish the liturgical feast of St Joseph the Worker, assigning it precisely on the 1st of May … because the humble craftsman of Nazareth not only embodies the dignity of the arm of the worker … he is also always the guardian of you and your families.”
St Pope Pius X (1835-1914) had similar desires when he composed a prayer to “St Joseph the Worker.” It is a prayer that recognises the great dignity of work and how it can be offered to God as a sacrifice, pleasing in His sight. St Joseph has always been the supreme example of this type of holy work, teaching his son, Jesus, how to work with great care and precision, giving to God His best work possible.
O 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 natural inclinations,
to work with gratitude and joy,
in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins,
considering it an honour to employ
and develop by means of labour,
the gifts received from God,
to work with order, peace, moderation and patience,
without ever shrinking from weariness
and difficulties, to work above all,
with purity of intention
and detachment from self,
having always death before my eyes
and the account that 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 through Mary,
all after thine example,
O Patriarch, St Joseph.
Such shall be my motto in life and in death.