Saint Joseph was, in a radical way, the model of masculinity and virtue for our Lord and Savior. In a real and tangible sense, Our Lord worked beside St. Joseph, learning from him how to work with his hands, how to pray, how to be a man, not only in the active work of the carpenter, but also in the contemplation of truth and justice. As Blessed John Paul II says in Redemptoris Custos:
"...in Joseph, the apparent tension between the active and the
contemplative life finds an ideal harmony that is only possible for those who
possess the perfection of charity...We can say that Joseph experienced
both love of the truth---that pure contemplative love of the divine Truth which
radiated from the humanity of Christ---and the demands of love---that equally pure
and selfless love required for his vocation to safeguard and develop the
humanity of Jesus..."
Today's feast of St. Joseph the Worker, which was only just instituted in 1955, reminds us that the work of our hands is an opportunity for sanctification, that even simple tasks have the potential to shape the human spirit. It is beautiful to imagine the hidden years of Christ, working beside his father in Nazareth.
As we noted in our March post, the Italians have a special devotion to St. Joseph. In "My Name Day - Come For Dessert," a wonderful little book, Helen McLoughlin gives a great recipe for St. Joseph's Sfinge, or cream puffs. You can also find a recipe here.
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!