A Novena to Saint Joseph the Worker

A Prayer to Help Find Employment

Saint Joseph and the Christ Child statue
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Joseph, the biblical 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.

Catholics believe that patron saints, having already risen to heaven or the metaphysical plane, are able to intercede or aid with divine help for special needs asked by the person praying for assistance.

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

In 1955, Pope Pius XII declared May 1—already a worldwide day of celebrating (International Workers Day or May Day) 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. 

In the new Church calendar published in 1969, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, which at one time had occupied the highest possible rank in the Church calendar, was reduced to an optional memorial, the lowest rank for a saint's day.

St. Joseph's Day

St. Joseph's Day, celebrated on March 19, should not be confused with the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The May 1 celebration uniquely focuses on Joseph's legacy as a model for workers.

St. Joseph's Day is the primary patron feast day for Poland and Canada, persons named Joseph, and Josephine, and for religious institutes, schools, and parishes bearing the name Joseph, and for carpenters.

Stories about Joseph as a father, husband, and brother often stress his patience and hard work in the face of adversity. St. Joseph's Day is also Father's Day in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

Prayers to St. Joseph

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.


novena is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Catholicism repeated for nine successive days or weeks. During a novena, the person praying make petitions, implore favors, and asking for the intercessions of the Virgin Mary or the saints. Individuals may express love and honor by kneeling, burning candles, or placing flowers before the patron saint statue.

A novena to St. Joseph the Worker is suitable for those times when you have an important ongoing project or assignment that you are having trouble completing. You can also pray to St. Joseph for help finding employment. The prayer asks God to instill in you 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.

St. Joseph is also considered the patron of a happy death. In one of the nine prayers to St. Joseph, the prayer says, "How fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind.

You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary."

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Richert, Scott P. "A Novena to Saint Joseph the Worker." ThoughtCo, Feb. 15, 2018, thoughtco.com/novena-to-saint-joseph-the-worker-542689. Richert, Scott P. (2018, February 15). A Novena to Saint Joseph the Worker. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/novena-to-saint-joseph-the-worker-542689 Richert, Scott P. "A Novena to Saint Joseph the Worker." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/novena-to-saint-joseph-the-worker-542689 (accessed March 22, 2018).