Saint Joseph the Worker


There is an excellent article on Saint Joseph the Worker on Catholic Relief Services ( that discusses Saint Joseph as a worker and provider for the Holy Family. In that well written article it discusses this feast day in terms of social justice for the worker. While it seems intuitive that work is done to provide for a person and their families needs, it also is difficult to forget how many times employment does not meet a minimum standard of living. So many times workers are exploited in their efforts to meet simple basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare. It also is difficult to ignore when employment is turned into a hierarchy of status rather than a means to meet simple basic needs, and many times it is that status that fuels the exploitation of workers. Many times those at the bottom of an economic scale can be degraded to the point of discrimination for honorably providing for their families. In St. Josephs era, artisans such as stone workers and carpenters were considered to be the lowest class citizens, and dishonorably employed. Saint Joseph does remind people that his only purpose for employment was to meet his families needs. His is an emphasis on honor and dignity of the worker, regardless of their trade, or economic status.

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