Collection: St. Joseph the Worker

ARTIST: Lewis Williams, OFS


Dear St. Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.

Joseph The Worker/ Help in Employment

His feast day is May 01.

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St. Joseph, the Patron Saint Joseph,

Patron of the Willing Shepherds of Jesus Christ

"I chose you before you chose me".

Not so with patron saints --- because tradesmen, craftsmen, groups, professions, etc. often pick a saint that has some link to their lives or circumstances and nominate that one as their patron.

Exactly what is a patron saint and what does a patron saint do? A patron saint is actually an intercessor or advocate in heaven that people pray to for help. Such prayer is not to worship a saint but rather is a request for help and intercession direct to Almighty God.

St. Joseph and the Christ Child Enthroned with Four Angels

St. Joseph and the Christ Child Enthroned with Four Angels

What is St. Joseph the patron saint of? Who will offer prayer to St. Joseph? We know from biblical teaching that details about of St. Joseph's life are obscure and vague to say the least; likewise, his patronage. There does not exist an official list of what is St. Joseph the patron saint of. There are countries, regions of countries and cities, plus there are some colorful and some commonly accepted.

St. Joseph is the patron saint of 10 nations spread across the globe. A prayer to St. Joseph from peoples of these countries would favorably gain intercession to God. People of Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, Canada, China, Croatia, Korea, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam need only to ask St. Joseph for help and intercession. Likewise the regional people of Tyrol, Sicily, Styria and Carinthia. The city list is imprecise but does include Italian city of Florence and Turin and United States cities of Baton Rouge, San Jose, Cheyenne and Buffalo.

St. Joseph is the patron saint of confectioners and pastry makers. He is also the patron saint of cabinet makers who pray to St. Joseph before the job starts.

These are used to illustrate the point that Saint Joseph is patron saint of ordinary people leading ordinary every day lives. Nothing lofty or regal about him, he is a saint for ordinary working people and workers. We know from the Bible that he was a worker, carpenter by trade, and thus craftsmen and tradesmen have adopted St. Joseph as their patron.

We also derive from the Bible that the date and place, cause and circumstances of Saint Joseph's death are unknown. Catholics credit Saint Joseph as patron saint of dying people, patron of a happy death, and patron of a holy death. Catholic tradition holds that St. Joseph died a happy death in the arms of Jesus and Mary. He is a model of a person that can lead a pious and obedient life and received saving grace at the moment of death, thus a "holy death".

Next, St. Joseph is the patron saint and protector of the Church. Catholic doctrine is all baptized in to the church are part of the Mystical Body of Christ. In view of the fact that he was entrusted with the care, nurturing and protection of Jesus in childhood, it is a natural that Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the universal church and protector of the church as the Mystical Body of Christ. Pope Paul VI stated in a homily on the feast of St. Joseph's day in 1969 the church needs the Protector to ""..continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ Himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril."

Though there are many others to be sure, lastly let us take a look at St. Joseph patron of fathers. There are actually four aspects to this patronage; the first is as an example to fathers of a protector and provider as we just reviewed above. Next, he is an example as a worker that not just money and wealth are important, but equally important is to provide quality of life to the family. St. Joseph also reminds fathers about the importance of commitment to marriage and the importance of living an unstained moral life in terms of reading, movies, etc. Lastly, examples abound of fathers that prayed to Saint Joseph and received overwhelming and unexpected help. As an earthly foster-father himself, St. Joseph understands the role of fatherhood, and he is a very powerful intercessor.

All you need to do is truly believe, pray devoutly, and St. Joseph will be there for you.