St Joseph’s Magnum Opus

St Joseph’s Magnum Opus

Today the Church honours St Joseph under the title of “Worker”. In the face of the Communist ideology of human work as a means to temporal prosperity and conquest, reducing human work to just another cog in the great wheel of evolutionary “progress”, the Church through Pope Pius XII wanted to remind us that the Son of God Himself laboured in this life in the company of and under the command of St Joseph. By doing so, He sanctified human work, elevating it, and giving it the capacity to sanctify souls when accepted in a spirit of obedience to God the Creator and in a spirit of atonement for sin. Work is an essential part of human life, and as such, is one of the primary means of sanctification. It’s not for nothing that Benedictines are known to “pray and work – ora et labora”.

Let’s not forget however that St Joseph’s great work was the upbringing of the Word Incarnate and, by extension, fostering and protecting of Holy Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. Such was the meaning of the feast of the patronage of St Joseph instituted by Bl Pope Pius IX. We can pray to this great saint today to bless the Church, to protect her from all harm, to guide her shepherds in fidelity to the fulness of truth and in the way of eternal salvation so that they may lead the faithful there as well.

We may also consider that the work of our individual sanctification can be entrusted to St Joseph. He is a great master in the ways of prayer. So on this day, let us renew our devotion to him.

St Joseph is also secondary patron of our community; to him we entrust the task of building us a monastery, but even more importantly, of building monks, and also, building us a solid group of faithful friends and supporters, so necessary to any community, but even more so in its beginnings: “Vera amicitia in aeternum”. We also thank him for all the support we have already received, and pray to him for all our benefactors.

Prayer of St Pius X to St Joseph, Model of Workers

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to work, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with gratitude and joy, deeming it an honour to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with self-detachment, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time wasted, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so prejudicial to the work of God.  All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

Happy feast day to all!