A Novena to Saint Joseph the Worker

A Prayer for Diligence in Our Work

Saint Joseph
Saint Joseph and the Christ Child. DircinhaSW/Moment Open/Getty Images

Joseph, the biblcal husband to Mary and the human father of Jesus, was a carpenter by trade, and thus he has always been regarded as the patron saint of workers, both in Catholic and Protestant traditions. In 1955, Pope Pius XII declared May 1—already a worldwide day of celebration to the efforts of workers—to be the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. This feast day reflects the status St. Joseph holds as a model for humble, dedicated workers.

Stories about Joseph as a father, husband and brother often stress his patient, hard work in the face of adversity.

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker is supplemental to the principle celebration day for Catholic--St. Joseph's Day, celebrated on March 19. The May 1 celebration uniquely focuses on Joseph's legacy as a model for workers. 

A number of important and useful prayers to St. Joseph the Worker are available, many of which are appropriate for praying during the Feast of St. Joseph.  But this novena—a prayer to be said over nine days—is perfect for those times when we have an important ongoing project or assignment that we're having trouble completing. It beseeches God to instill in us the same patience and diligence associated with St. Joseph. 

O God, the Creator of all things, You have laid the law of labor upon the human race. Grant, we beseech You, that by the example and protection of St. Joseph we may perform the work You command and attain to the reward that You promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.