Although popular devotion to Joseph, husband of Mary, may have begun in the West as
early as the 8 th century, it was not until the 15 th century that his name was entered in the
Church calendar. Since that time, devotion to Joseph has been marked by growing
enthusiasm. In 1955, Pope Pius XII proclaimed a second feast day in his honour: May 1,
which is also Labour Day in many countries. A carpenter, Joseph exemplifies working
people who are dignified by their labour and who bring Christ into the workplace.
Feast of Saint Pius V
Kin and generous in his private life, Pius is nevertheless remembered as an austere and
severe person. Born into an impoverished family in Italy in 1504. Antonio Ghislieri
spent much of early life tending sheep. At the age of 14 he entered the Dominican order
and became a professor. He was appointed bishop in 1556, and cardinal and inquisitor
general in 1557. In 1566 he was elected pope, taking the name Pius.
He is responsible for accomplishing many tasks, including imposing the decrees of the
Council of Trent, reforming the Roman Missal and the breviary, ordering a new edition
of the works of Thomas Acquinas, fighting Protestantism, excommunicating Queen
Elizabeth I and re-energizing the Inquisition. He died in 1572 and was canonized in
Acts 13: 44 – 52
Psalm 98
John 14: 7 – 14
On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis announced the beginning of the universal celebration
of the “Year of Saint Joseph,” which will conclude on December 8, 2021. He introduced
this year with an Apostolic Letter entitled “With a Father’s Heart.” In the introduction to
that letter, the Holy Father said, “Each of us can discover in Joseph—the man who goes
unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence—an intercessor, a support and a guide in
times of trouble.”
The Gospel above, taken from the readings for this memorial, point to the fact that Jesus
was “the carpenter’s son.” Joseph was a worker. He worked with his hands as a carpenter
so as to provide for the daily needs of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Son of God. He
provided them with a home, with food, and with the other daily necessities of life. Joseph
also protected them both by following the various messages of the angel of God who

spoke to him in his dreams. Joseph fulfilled his duties in life in a quiet and hidden way,
serving in his role as father, spouse and worker.
Though Joseph is universally recognized and honored today within our Church and even
as a prominent historical world figure, during his lifetime he would have been a man who
was largely unnoticed. He would have been seen as an ordinary man doing his ordinary
duty. But in many ways, that is what makes Saint Joseph an ideal man to imitate and a
source of inspiration. Very few people are called to serve others in the spotlight. Very
few people are publicly praised for their day-to-day duties. Parents, especially, are often
greatly unappreciated. For that reason, the life of Saint Joseph, this humble and hidden
life lived out in Nazareth, provides most people with inspiration for their own daily lives.
If your life is somewhat monotonous, hidden, unappreciated by the masses, tedious, and
even boring at times, then look to Saint Joseph for inspiration. Today’s memorial
especially honors Joseph as a man who worked. And his work was quite ordinary. But
holiness is especially found in the ordinary parts of our daily lives. Choosing to serve,
day in and day out, with little or no earthly accolades, is a service of love, an imitation of
the life of Saint Joseph, and a source of your own holiness in life. Do not underestimate
the importance of serving in these and other ordinary and hidden ways.
Reflect, today, upon the ordinary and “unremarkable” daily life of Saint Joseph. If you
find that your life is similar to what he would have experienced as a worker, a spouse and
a father, then rejoice in that fact. Rejoice in the fact that you are also called to a life of
extraordinary holiness through the ordinary duties of daily life. Do them well. Do them
with love. And do them in inspiration of Saint Joseph and his spouse, the Blessed Virgin
Mary who would have shared in this ordinary day-to-day life. Know that what you do
each and every day, when it is done out of love and service of others, is the surest path to
holiness of life for you.
God bless. Happy Feast of Saint Joseph, the Worker