Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first, on March 19, celebrates Joseph as the husband of Mary and the second, on May 1, celebrates St. Joseph the Worker.

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to recognize the dignity of work.

"The humble craftsman of Nazareth not only personifies before God and the Holy Church the dignity of the worker of the arm but [he] is also always the provident guardian of you and your families," Pope Pius XII said in a speech delivered in St. Peter's Square on May 1, 1955.

Although the Scriptures tell us little about St. Joseph, we know that he worked as a carpenter, a trade that he would have passed on to Jesus.

"Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labor," wrote Pope Francis in his apostolic letter Patris Corde. "Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the Kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion."

St. Joseph is the patron of many things, including carpenters, craftsmen, engineers, and workers in general. He is also the patron of the universal Church, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, homebuyers and sellers, immigrants, and those who are dying.  Saint Joseph is also the patron of three parishes and 13 churches in the Diocese of Portland, located from Aroostook to York County. 

Celebrations in the Diocese of Portland


On Saturday, May 4, at 3:30 pm, St. Paul the Apostle Parish will host a Blessing of Tools and Equipment in honor of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The blessing will take place in the parking lot of St. Joseph Church, located at 531 North Main Street in Brewer. Mass will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. following the blessing. All parishioners and anyone who uses tools, equipment, and other implements or utensils in their work are welcome to attend this grace-filled benediction.

Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen

(Pope Saint Pius X)


Pope Pius XII's Speech Instituting the Feast Day (External Link)

Prayers to St. Joseph

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker - Franciscan Media (External Link)