Updated: May 2
Saint Joseph the Worker
1 May, 2020 / Ave Maria LiveStream
Romanus Cessario, O.P.
Today sees the beginning of the fairest of all seasons, the month of May. Mary’s month. Our present circumstances prohibit the usual May celebrations, such as the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, Our Blessed Mother awaits the signs of love and of confidence in her maternal mediation that Catholics are accustomed to display during the month of May. One practice that may help us to draw close to Mary appears in the Litany of Loretto, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. With this prayer, we can savor the many titles and qualities and virtues that the Church gives to or recognizes in Our Lady.
May First also honors workers throughout the world. May Day celebrations during the twentieth century—and still today— often carried overtones of political ideology. The Church responded to these secular ideologies with the figure of Saint Joseph. Joseph the Worker. Whereas ideologies touted the utility of work for the masses, Saint Joseph teaches us the sanctifying power of work for the individual. Work ennobles us. Sanctified work together builds Christian community.
Mary’s month and Saint Joseph’s celebration fall this year during an extraordinary period of our nation’s social history. Few have found their work made easier during the time of shelter–in–place orders. For some people, their daily work and income have been suspended, whereas for others, their work has been undertaken under trying circumstances. No one has escaped the hardships of this moment. The virtue of the moment calls on us to imitate the patience of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We may also usefully recall the silence of Saint Joseph. When pressures build up, the practice of recollection, which requires an absence of noise, affords the best relief.
The Church cannot survive without devotion to Mary. Saints remind us that one can never say enough about Mary. De Maria numquam satis. As we proceed during these precious days of sweet May, invoke Mary often. Say her Name. Let her maternal mediation envelop you so that every work and deed begins with the delicacy of divine grace and finds completion in the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.