Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Why aren’t we hearing about any of St. Joseph Feast of the Worker today? I’m watching CSPAN and Fox News right now and all I’ve seen are mentions of May Day protests, and how reporters are out there reporting that. Will anyone cover St. Joseph the Feast of the Worker? Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Today is the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. I was sharing this earlier.
On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII delivered a significant address before an assembly of representatives of the Catholic Association of Italian Workers. Toward the end of his speech, the Holy Father said: “We are happy to announce to you Our determination to institute—as we do now in fact institute—the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Workman, assigning to it precisely the first day of May.” He had previously stated: “The world of labor has claimed [May 1] for, itself as its own proper feastday.” Now, he is instituting this feast, not as “a stimulus for discord, hate and violence,” but, to be “a recurring invitation to modern society to accomplish that which is still lacking for social peace. A Christian feast, therefore; that is, a day of rejoicing for the concrete and progressive triumph of the Christian ideals of the great family of labor” (cf. The Catholic Mind for Sept., 1955).
Mike: There’s more explanation to this. Why aren’t we hearing about any of St. Joseph Feast of the Worker today? I’m watching CSPAN and Fox News right now and all I’ve seen are mentions of May Day protests, and how reporters are out there reporting that. Will anyone cover St. Joseph the Feast of the Worker? Joseph Saraceno makes the point, and I just thought this was brilliant, about this, and here’s how we ought to think about it. This applies to all of us, by the by.
“… Jesus journeyed on, and came to his own countryside, where he taught them in their synagogue; so that they said in astonishment, How did he come by this wisdom, and these strange powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (Matt. 13:53-54). St. Joseph was a carpenter in Nazareth, a man of the working-class. True, he was a descendant of the royal family of David; but this royalty no longer connoted glamor; its former magnificence and wealth were gone. Joseph was obliged to live by the labor of his hands. Far away from the royal palace in Jerusalem, he dwelt in the hidden, despised town of Nazareth in Galilee, and plied his trade there. The houses he knew were certainly unpretentious, even primitive, being mere mud huts with roofs supported by beams, and floors of packed clay. Carpenters fashioned the entire structure, as well as its furnishings. Tools and implements for home and farm came from local shops. Such was Joseph’s trade, his whole life long, in this community of simple, rural Galileans, and it brought him neither riches nor honors. Consequently, when the young carpenter married the Virgin Mary, he could have offered her only a very modest home, probably a house that he himself had built.
“It happened that a decree went out at this time from the emperor Augustus, enjoining that the whole world should be registered . . . and Joseph, being of David’s clan and family, came up . . . to David’s city, . . . the city called Bethlehem, to give in his name there. With him was his espoused wife Mary, who was then in her pregnancy . . . there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-7). Here, Joseph was made painfully aware of the fact that he belonged to the poorer class, for he was compelled to house his bride in a stable. The months in Bethlehem were difficult ones, but it must have been even more difficult to live as a refugee and support a family in Egypt. Only after the death of Herod was it safe to return, and then, not to Bethlehem, as he would have desired, but to Nazareth, since the even more cruel Archelaus was now ruler of Judea. In Nazareth, Joseph was once more the humble carpenter.
Mike: His point is that Christ the man, the man God, had to be raised by someone. He couldn’t have been called a carpenter’s son if Joseph wasn’t a carpenter. Where would our Lord have learned his work ethic, his human work ethic that he would share with the apostles, and that he would demonstrate to all those that followed? He would have learned the work part of it from St. Joseph. It only makes sense. If you’re looking for a literary figure in the Bible that was a worker and worked with his hands and was a member – how high of an honor – tell me what higher honor there could possibly be than to be the putative or foster father of Christ himself? What honor could possibly be higher than that for a man to accomplish, for a man to have aspired to?
“. . . Joseph, the husband of Mary; it was of her that Jesus was born, who is called Christ” (Matt 1:16). Thus did God honor the lowly worker, selecting him to become the husband of Mary, the Mother of God. Joseph knew the secret of his betrothed: an angel had enlightened him. The child in her womb was “of the Holy Spirit.” So Joseph took his wife to himself and became the Virgin-Protector of the Virgin-Mother. Indeed, he became in a true sense the father of the Child whom the Virgin conceived and later brought forth in Bethlehem. By virtue of the matrimonial bond, Mary’s Child is his child, too. He exercises paternal power and authority over the incarnate Son of God. The Lord of heaven and earth is subject to him (cf. Luke 2:51). He owes and renders obedience to Joseph as His earthly father.
Mike: Again, there’s another passage in there when we learn of the slaughter of the holy innocence. What happens to our Lord? Joseph has a dream. The angel comes to him and says: Hey, dude, you need to wake up. Joseph wakes up and tells his wife – he doesn’t ask her, doesn’t request of her, he says: Get up. Get dressed. Get the boy. Let’s get out of here. Herod is coming.
Thus, again, does God honor the poor carpenter, making him head of the Holy Family. Mary, Mother of God, radiant with grace, virtue, and holiness, wants to be dependent on and directed by the will of St. Joseph in all matters. She serves him, loves him . . .
Mike: Again, today is May the 1st, May Day as it’s called, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. You’re not going to hear this anywhere else, I assure you. No other radio host is going to spend any time explaining that there is a Christian alternative, and there has been since 1955, to the secular, socialist, communist May Day. Celebrations and commemorations are going to happen all around the world. It’s a beautiful alternative, just as you would expect.
. . . “The humble workman of Nazareth not only personifies before God and the Church the dignity of the manual laborer, but also he is always the provident guardian of you and your families” (Pius XII).
For centuries, St. Joseph succeeded in remaining in the background, just as he had done during his earthly life. Little by little, however, God brought him out of darkness into light, so that now one frequently sees pictures of him and altars or churches dedicated to his honor. Numerous religious institutions, monasteries, and convents have entrusted themselves to his fatherly care, bear his name, and honor him as their protector and their advocate at the throne of God. Indeed, at a time of great oppression, in the year 1870, Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph “Protector of the Universal Church” and approved the application of verses 20 and 21 of psalm 32 to him: “The Lord is our strength and our shield: in him our hearts will find refreshment, in his holy name we trust” (Introit of the former Mass of the Solemnity). And how many of the faithful, having taken refuge under his protection in time of distress and need, have experienced his help and the power of his intercession! In this way, again, the humble Workman of Nazareth personifies, in the eyes of the Church, the dignity of those who labor with their hands.
“Do not forget,” says our Holy Father to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, “that your first care is to preserve and foster Christian living among workers. To this end it is not enough for you to fulfill, and urge others to fulfill, your religious duties; you must deepen your knowledge of the teachings of the Faith.”
Go to Joseph! He asserts that “no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by the spirit of Christ than the foster father of Jesus. . . . If you wish to be close to Christ, We again today repeat: ‘Ite ad Joseph’—Go to Joseph” (Gen. 41:55).
Mike: I happily, cheerfully bring this up in this sea of darkness that everyone thinks we’re surrounded by, in this sea of darkness and despair, that St. Joseph and St. Joseph Day is a beautiful Christian response to the pinko commie libs and their stinking May Day observance today. Don’t fall for it. When the Soviet Union was still around and kicking, it was a much bigger deal than it is today.
End Mike Church Show Transcript