Skip to comments.Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1st.)- Discussion
Posted on 04/29/2005 7:22:48 AM PDT by jrny
I wanted to start a discussion about the upcoming feast of St. Joseph the Worker. In the traditional Mass (Missals dated between 1956 and 1962), this feast is celebrated on May 1st. as a feast of the First Class. This year it falls on Sunday and therefore, it supersedes the 5th. Sunday after Easter, with a Commemoration of the Sunday.
History...The feast was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 (and first celebrated in 1956) as an effort to Christianize the Communist May Day. Pius XII gave Catholic workers a role model in St. Joseph and a correct understanding of the dignity of labor, as opposed to the Marxist falsehoods concerning labor.
Liturgically...prior to 1956, there existed the Feast of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, which was celebrated on the Wednesday after the 2nd. Sunday after Easter. It was termed Solemnity to refer to the fact that the Church wanted to celebrate St. Josesph in the full splendor and joy that was curtailed on his actual feast in March, which almost always occurs during Lent. Also, May 1st. was the feast of the Apostles Sts. Philip and James. Pius XII transferred their feast to May 11th, and he eliminated the Solemnity of St. Joseph in favor of St. Joseph the Worker. In the United States, the Mass of St. Joseph the Worker is also allowed as a Votive Mass of the 4th. Class on our Labor Day in September.
Sadly, in 1969 with the advent of the Novus Ordo, Pope Paul VI downgraded this feast to an optional Memorial on May 1st. Therefore, only traditional Mass venues who adhere to the Missals dated between 1956 and 1962 will be observing the feast of St. Joseph the Worker this Sunday. Traditionalists who adhere to pre-1956 Missals will be observing Sts. Philip and James this Sunday, while the Novus Ordo will be celebrating the 6th. Sunday of Easter.
Contentions...Some TLM priests and others still strongly object to this feast mostly because they see it as a platitude toward the Communists. I have witnedssed outright refusal to say this Mass among some priests who adhere to the 1962 Missal. In more cases, some traditionalists downplay this feast as much as they can within the letter of liturgical law. Personally, I don't understand the objection. What better way to trump the Communists than steal their message of "worker dominance" and replace it with a Christian view of the dignity of labor? What better patron than St. Joseph?
Of course they do...the SSPX does follow the 1962 Calendar. What I witnessed, however, was 2 individual priests of the SSPX refuse to say the Mass of St. Joseph the Worker.
More common, however, is the fact that everywhere I have been in the SSPX, they downplay the feast. They say the Mass, yes, but there is a never a High Mass for it, Vespers, or even a mention of it from the pulpit. On the other hand, the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th. is always observed with great solemnity. So, what I don't understand is why they do not afford the same honors to St. Joseph on his other feast with all the extra pomp that is becoming of a first class feast.
The fact that the feast this year fell on Sunday sort of forced them to celebrate it with more solemnity this year.
Trump the communists? They've been ripping off and bastardizing and secularizing Holy Doctrine from the start. A little reflection will lead to the inevitable conclusion that it is the "spirit of Antichrist." It's not atheistic for nothing. Pardon me if I state the obvious.
BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, May 1, 2007!
Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint Joseph the Worker
Detail from the right wing of Triptych of the Annunication - Robert Campin, Netherlands (Bruges), ca 1378-1444 (Oil on Panel)
The Cloisters Collection, 1956 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Christ the Lord allowed Himself to be considered the son of a carpenter: come, let us adore Him, Alleluia
-- Invitiatory Antiphon for Saint Joseph the Worker
Pope John Paul II, in his Angelus Message on March 17, 2002, stressed that Saint Joseph is a model of fatherhood in the following excerpts:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The day after tomorrow, March 19, we will celebrate the solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. The extreme discretion with which Joseph carried out the role entrusted to him by God highlights his faith even more, which consisted in always listening to the Lord, seeking to understand his will and to obey it with his whole heart and strength. This is why the Gospel describes him as a "just" man (Mt 1,19). In fact, the just man is the person who prays, lives by faith, and seeks to do good in every concrete circumstance of life.
Saint Joseph and fathers
Faith nourished by prayer: this is the most precious treasure that Saint Joseph transmits to us. Generations of fathers have followed in his footsteps who, with the example of a simple and laborious life, imprinted on their children's souls the inestimable value of faith, without which every other good runs the risk of being in vain. So even now, I am happy to assure all fathers of a special prayer, on the day dedicated to them: I ask God that they be men of a robust interior life, in order to fulfil their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way.
What we know about the life of Saint Joseph is contained in the gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke. He has become known as the "Just man".
The name foster-father of Our Lord appears in local martyrologies of the ninth and tenth centuries. The first church dedicated in his honor was in 1129 in Bologna. Pope Sixtus IV(1471-84) added the feast of Saint Joseph to the Roman Calendar. Pope Pius IX placed the whole Church under the Patronage of Saint Joseph in 1870.
In 1989, Pope John Paul II reflected deeply on the life and witness of Saint Joseph in Redemptoris Custos "Guardian of the Redeemer" (q.v).
Among the saints known to have had particular devotions to Saint Joseph are Saint Bernard, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Gertrude, Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Alphonsus and Saint Teresa of Avila.
As the Bible tells us, Saint Joseph was descended from the royal house of David. A village carpenter of Nazareth, he was chosen among all men to be the husband and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. To his loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world. He reveals to us the perfect model of Christianity through his purity of heart, patience, and fortitude.
Poor in worldly possessions, he was rich in grace. Devotion to Saint Joseph, was fervent in the East from the early ages, and has spread and increased. Today, Catholics of all nations honor him.
There are many stories about the miraculous intervention of Saint Joseph. One is a medieval account of how a famine in Sicily was ended after a Novena to Saint Joseph. A more recent story is of the mysterious "itinerant carpenter" who volunteered to build an architecturally unique spiral staircase in a convent chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is as sound today as when it was first built, and has never needed repair.
According to ancient tradition, Saint Joseph watches over and protects the Church. He is considered the model of perfect Christian life and the patron of a happy death. His patronage extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, over the Christian family and schools, carpenters, fathers, laborers, and all individuals who appeal to his charity and intercession, especially in the hour of death. Joseph, when dying, received the loving ministry of his foster Son, Jesus, and his spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary, so it is believed that his intercession may well obtain the mercy of God and the grace of a peaceful and holy death.
His feast is celebrated on March 19, and a special memorial to Saint Joseph the Worker is observed on May 1.
Readings for the Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary
Father, You entrusted our Savior to the care of Saint Joseph.
By the help of his prayers
may Your Church continue to serve its Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading - 2 Samuel 7: 4-5a, 12-14a, 16
The word of the Lord came to Nathan:
"Go and tell My servant David, 'Thus says the Lord: Would you build Me a house to dwell in? When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men. And your house and our kingdom shall be made sure for ever before Me; your thorne shall be established for ever.'"
Second Reading - Romans 4: 13, 16-18, 22
A promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendents -- not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations" -- in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. That is why his faith was "reckoned to him as righteous".
Gospel - Matthew 1: 16, 18-21, 24a
Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with Child of the Holy Spirit; and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been looking for You anxiously." And He said to them, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying which He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.
Readings for the Feast of Saint Joseph, the Worker
God, our Father,
Creator and ruler of the universe,
in every age You call man
to develop and use his gifts for the good of others.
With Saint Joseph as our example and guide,
help us to do the work you have asked
and come to the rewards you have promised.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading - Genesis 1:26 - 2:3
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all His work which He had done in creation.
or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24
Gospel Reading - Matthew 13: 54-58
Coming to His own country Jesus taught them in the synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And are not His brethen James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?" And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." And He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
(Revised Standard Version - Catholic edition)
Prayers to Saint Joseph
Prayer to Saint Joseph
To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we seek with confidence thy patronage also. By that affection wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God; by the fatherly love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech thee to look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased for us by His Blood, and to help us in our need by thy powerful intercession.
Defend, O thou most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, O thou our most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, so that imitating thy example and strengtheded by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.
Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.
Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Novena to Saint Joseph
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach whil He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.
O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)
St. Joseph Novena
O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.
(Here name your petition).
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
Family activities for Saint Joseph's Day
* Because a Novena to Saint Joseph resulted in deliverance from a famine in Sicily, the saint is particularly revered in Italy. It became a custom to make "Saint Joseph altars" in family houses, and to have children dressed as Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking admittance to the "inn".
Italian-American parishes often have special observances on this day -- usually involving blessed loaves of bread that are given to the people after Mass.
*In recent years the practice has arisen of burying a statuette of Saint Joseph in the yard of property that is for sale in the belief that the sale will be concluded quickly. (Probably because of the saint's association with building and carpentry he has been adopted as the patron of real estate agents.)
But for Catholics to bury an image of Saint Joseph to effect a quick sale is not a worthy remembrance of this saint! In fact, it is superstitious. To help distinguish true intercessory prayer from superstitious actrions, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says this:
§2110: Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition. (emphasis added)
§2138: Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.
*In addition to including the Prayer to Saint Joseph (above) either with the meal prayers on this day, or at bedtime, we like to include special foods traditionally associated with Saint Joseph.
*Both traditional recipes following are from A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz, originally published by Harper & Row in 1995, now available in paperback from Ignatius Press (see links page).
Saint Joseph's rice fritters
Frittelle Di San Giusepe
2 1/4 cups milk
1 cup raw rice
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons fruit brandy (optional)
Grated rind of 1 large orange
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Oil for deep frying
Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, salt, vanilla, and granulated sugar. Cover the pan, and simmer gently until the rice is fully cool.)
Mix the rice thoroughly with the eggs, flour, baking powder, brandy, orange rind, raisins, and pine nuts.
Heat the oil to 375° F. for deep-fat frying. Drop the Frittelle mixture 1 tablespoon at a time into the oil. Cook a few at a time, keeping the Frittelle separate. Fry until golden brown.
Drain the Frittelle on paper towels. Serve them hot, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
Yield: about 25 Frittelle
The pretzel represents the shape of the penitent's crossed arms, and was a traditional Lenten food in central European towns. Because the pretzel is shaped like arms folded in prayer, the German tribes who invaded Rome called the bracellæ "brezel'" or "prezel". Pretzels are traditionally eaten throughout Lent, and in some places are especially associated with Saint Joseph's Day [March 19] which usually falls within Lent. A recipe for soft pretzels follows:
This recipe is for a chewy soft pretzel, like those hot pretzel vendors sell.
Combine in a mixing bowl:
1 cup warm water
1 package (1 1 1/2 T) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
Add and beat at least 3 minutes:
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 Tbsp soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
Stir in 1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour and knead until the dough loses its stickiness.
Let the dough rise in a covered greased bowl until it is doubled in bulk (this is called "proofing" the dough). Punch down and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope and form it into a pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on a greased baking sheet and let them rise until almost doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 475°F.
In a large non aluminum kettle, prepare a boiling solution of
4 cups water
5 tsp baking soda
With a slotted spoon, carefully lower the pretzels into the water and boil about 1 minute or until they float to the top. Return them to the greased sheet. Sprinkle them with coarse salt. (Sea salt or Kosher salt.) Bake the pretzels until they are nicely browned, about 10-12 minutes. Pretzels are best when eaten while still warm, but they may be stored in an air tight container for up to a week, or frozen. (Makes twelve 6 inch pretzels)
The silence of Saint Joseph is given a special emphasis. His silence is steeped in contemplation of the mystery of God in an attitude of total availability to divine desires. It is a silence thanks to which Joseph, in unison with Mary, watches over the Word of God, known through the Sacred Scriptures, continuously comparing it with the events of the life of Jesus; a silence woven of constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of the adoration of His holy will and of unreserved entrustment to his providence. It is no exaggeration to think that it was precisely from his "father" Joseph that Jesus learned -- at the human level -- that steadfast interiority which is a presupposition of authentic justice.... Let us allow ourselves to be "filled" with Saint Joseph's silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God's voice.
Pope Benedict XVI
December 18, 2005