Struggling at Work? Pray for the Intercession of These 3 Patrons of Workers
As we have talked about previously on the blog, work is an important part of our shared vocation as Christians. God desires that we use the gifts and talents he has given us to work in his creation, just as he desired Adam and Eve to work the land in the Garden of Eden. There is inherent value in work done for the glory of God. That work does not necessarily have to be work in your church or for a charity, but can simply be your day job offered up for the glory of God.
That is not to say that work is always easy. When we are tired, or when our job feels unfulfilling, or when we are overworked, it can lead to frustration and resentment. Even worse, some workers face abuses of their rights that make their lives incredibly challenging. Some people cannot find work at all, and they face all the trials of unemployment. This month, you can join Pope Francis in praying for the rights of workers and the unemployed. If you are encountering challenges at work yourself, try praying for the intercession of these patrons of workers, or find the patron saint of your occupation.
1. St. Joseph the Worker
St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, is the most widely recognized patron saint of workers. We celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. As a quiet, humble saint who valued his work and prioritized supporting his family, St. Joseph is an excellent model for workers to follow. We don’t know much about St. Joseph, but we do know that he was a carpenter who taught Jesus his trade and worked with him in his workshop for years. St. Joseph is a good saint to call upon to help you focus humbly on your work and see the fruits that work bears in other parts of your life.
2. Dorothy Day
Currently recognized as a Servant of God, Dorothy Day was the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. In modern history, Day is perhaps the best known Catholic advocate for laborers. She fiercely defended the concept of the dignity of every human life, a belief that took shape in the houses welcoming the poor that became a hallmark of the Catholic Worker Movement. Day was committed to Catholic social teaching, which meant defending the rights of workers and the oppressed. If you are facing oppression in your work or unemployment, she is a wonderful saint to intercede for you.
3. St. Walter of Pontoise
St. Walter of Pontoise was an 11th-century Benedictine monk who is recognized today as the patron saint of people experiencing job-related stress. St. Walter himself experienced his fair share of job-related stress. He longed for a life of solitude, but he kept being appointed to leadership positions in his community. After trying to escape several times, he finally embraced his responsibilities when Pope Gregory VII instructed him to use his God-given talents. St. Walter is a good intercessor to help you get through any stress that work is causing for you.