“I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”St. Theresa of Avila
May 1st is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. The Feast of St. Joseph on May 1st is different than his Feast on March 19th because in May we recognize the specifics of the role St. Joseph played as the head of the Holy Family. This feast day was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII.
So why do we look to Joseph as a model worker and head of family?
Upon hearing Mary’s news about her pregnancy, Joseph knew she could have been accused of adultery and would be stoned to death, so he decided to send her away quietly. However, when an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.“ (Matthew 1:19-25) Joseph did just as the angel had instructed of him.
His acceptance of Mary’s fiat is a prime example of a man’s mission to lay down his life for the ones he loves. He took this mission very seriously and worked tirelessly as a carpenter to provide for the Holy Family. Joseph is described by the Greek word “tekton”. This word has been conventionally translated as “carpenter.” Joseph was a just man that went beyond the normal at that time in history.
We do not hear much more about Joseph in the Bible, only a few times in the young life of Jesus. However, we know by his dedication to providing for Mary and Jesus he was a hard worker and provider. As with any family, Joseph taught Jesus as a young boy and as we read in Luke’s Gospel, he raised him as his own. “Is this not the son of Joseph?” – Luke 4:22
Joseph is not written about at Jesus’ death or resurrection; it is believed by historians that he died before Jesus’ public ministry. While Joseph is not mentioned much in our salvation history, his role and impact in the lives of the Blessed Mother and Jesus is unmeasurable.
At Tekton Ministries, May 1st is a very special day as it is the feast of our patron saint. Tekton Ministries was founded under the protection of St. Joseph with the desire to provide for people on their faith journey just as St. Joseph provided to Mary and Jesus. Not only is it a special day at Tekton Ministries, it is a public holiday in Vatican City.
As May 1st approaches and passes this year, remind yourself why St. Joseph is honored throughout the year. It is through his acceptance, dedication to hard work and steadfast faith amid trials that he is a great example for all of us!