Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos cited the sacrifices and handwork done by Filipino workers around the world as the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker Sunday, May 1, which coincides with International Labor Day.

Photo RCAM

The vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said the country’s workforce including our overseas Filipino workers embody the qualities of St. Joseph- hardworking, honest and values the dignity of labor.

“Our workers truly follow and live the example of Saint Joseph. They are very hardworking, industrious and willing to work wherever and whenever the opportunity arises,” Bishop Santos said over Radio Veritas.

“Our workers are our modern day heroes who support not only their families but also the country’s economy,” he added.

The Church leader said Filipino workers are sought after around the world because of their dedication and diligence.

“Our workers are our economic frontliners, our essential service providers. They are our heroes. We have to be grateful to them and pray always for their safety,” said Bishop Santos.

The Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (San Jose Obrero) coincides with Labor Day.

Popularly venerated as the patron saint of the Universal Church, fathers, the dying, and workers, the feast highlights how St. Joseph, as a skilled carpenter, taught Jesus not only basic carpentry skills, but also appreciation and awareness of the dignity of labor.

Aside from the Catholic Church, St. Joseph is also venerated in the Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism.

The month of March is dedicated to Saint Joseph with March 19 observed as his feast day as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church, in addition to his patronages of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary.

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955, to coincide with the observance of International Labor Day or May Day, which was instituted in 1889 in recognition of the basic rights of workers.

Meanwhile, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles John Brown will preside over a high mass at 9 a.m. today, May 1, at the St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Balintawak, Quezon City.

Parish priest Fr. Michell Joe B. Zerrudo will also celebrate a mass at 6 a.m. Novena masses were held from April 22 to April 30.

Source: Manila Bulletin (