Saint Joseph the Worker (1st century)

for May 1

Saint Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Joseph was a just and compassionate man, and protected Mary from shame when he discovered that she was pregnant, even though he did not understand that her unborn child was the Son of God. We see evidence of Joseph's deep faith when he changed his plans in response to messages from God. Although God is Jesus' true Father, Joseph fulfilled that role in daily life. He loved Jesus and treated him as his own son (Luke 4:22). He provided for the safety of his family (Matthew 2:13-14), and taught Jesus his trade (Mark 6:3). There are no more references to Joseph in the New Testament after the family's pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-52), so he may have died before Jesus began his public ministry. Joseph is known as the patron saint of fathers and workers. We celebrate two feast days for him, March 19 for Joesph the husband of Mary, and May 1 for Joseph the worker. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")

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Reflection

Saint Joseph was a truly extraordinary man. Place yourself in his position. Imagine all the sacrifices demanded of him. He readily and without complaint accepted every hardship placed before him. He had great faith in God.

Prayer

Dear God, please help me to follow your will with the dedication and obedience of Saint Joseph.