A Prayer to St. Joseph Before Work

March 16, 2016

It’s easy to get complacent in our places of employment, to work for the weekends or to collect a paycheck that helps us live “real” life outside of the workplace. But work should never be meaningless drudgery, nor should it be separate and contained from other aspects of our life. It should rather be an act of loving service to God, bringing glory to him who is our Maker.

Work isn’t a curse, it is ordained by God and is a holy duty. Our heavenly Father himself taught us how to work and rest, and even in Paradise, where there was no pain or sorrow, our first parents worked joyfully, tending the earth and keeping it.

St. Joseph, the Guardian of our Redeemer, also worked with his hands and taught the child Jesus his craft of carpentry. Indeed, St. Joseph teaches us that working silently for Jesus and Mary is the highest calling of every man. We should learn from our humble model, St. Joseph, to have no greater happiness than to work, and to work well as an act of sacrificial love.

Here, then, is a prayer to St. Joseph, asking his intercession for a good and holy work day. I have begun to pray it daily, and I invite you to as well.

O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen.

– Composed by Pope St. Pius X

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Jerry Robinson says

    Mr. Guzman, I love your blog and this post hit home. I am nearing retirement and, after 35 years with my company, I’m finding it more difficult to stay engage as a leader in my business. I will begin praying to St. Joseph for his intervention in helping me change my focus from drudgery to working to glorify God. Thank you.
    I would also like to invite you to peruse my blog, Reflections of a Lay Catholic, http://www.reflectionsofalaycatholic.com. God bless you, sir.

    • Carol says

      Dear Jerry, Maybe retirement will open new ways of serving the Lord with passion. After 35 years of dedication maybe it’s time to enjoy new blessings. Step out in faith?

  2. John says

    I have that same prayer on my tool box in the machine shop I work in. It helps me stay focused on the “why” of work.

  3. Marek says

    There is another world wide problem. Men who do not work at all. Th societies are designed to degenerate us. If you do not have a certain proffesion, certain talents, any power and idea how to establish your own business you are end up as a loser and your frustration and shame are growing every day. If you add this: “keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted …” you are losing your hope for heaven. Prayer? Of course, it is necessary but heaven and st. Joseph do not respond. No hope. Shame. Frustration and helplessness. Women can focus on children, home etc. men can not. Work, feeling that we can achieve something, helathy proud of fruits coming from our job, developing talents – it is very important for us. If there are no those things in our life, we feel as a dead. This is my experience. Sorry abiout complaining but there is nobody to talk to around me. Wife? I do not want to make her sad again. De profundis clamavi ad te Domine – this is my eveery day prayer for many years. Prayer. No answer. Prayer. No answer. No idea what to do….

    • Bernard says

      Marek. Your post really struck a chord with me – and helped with something I’m working on. The problem is that men are victims of societal pressures, of evil in the world – especially because they see themselves as victims. Your post illustrates this. The solution is for individual men to recognize their power to bring about good in the world, and their call to greatness. Recognize your own call to greatness. Be thankful for every good thing in your life. Pray every week in a Eucharistic adoration chapel; God speaks loudly there. Attend a men’s group at a local Catholic parish. Also, search for the John Henry Cardinal Newman prayer “Some Definite Service” – reading your post reminded me of it.

    • Andrew Markich says

      Malek you must preserve in prayer.Pray the Rosary every day .Attend Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite if possible. Go to confession regularly at least once a month. Receive communion in a state of grace.God hears your prayers but He will answer them in His time not your time.Offer up this daily suffering to God for His only Son suffered and died for your and my sins.

    • Raymond Albert Ng says

      Hi Marek, I’m still young, and though I take the Faith seriously, I don’t have some specific advice..
      This is my best help: Please take a look at http://www.opusdei.org, and ask to be contacted. The message of St. Josemaria is real holiness for people from all walks of life, through the sanctification of professional work and the other small realities of daily life.

      Here is also a Novena for Work, which I also plan to make, as I am about to graduate soon… http://www.stjosemaria.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/novena_work.pdf

      What I do have I give to you – and I really have high hopes that you’ll benefit from it :))

  4. joan says

    Dear Marek,
    My husband too suffers from the lack of a “career” or a 9-5 job because he worked as a laborer all his life and now that he is approaching 60 his back is shot. He is a stay at home working man responsible for the maintenance of our home on a limited budget. He watches and cares for my mother who lives with us and his mother who lives near by. He is the go to person for all our kids and grandkids when they call for help during the day /during working hours. He is the one who monitors our neighborhood , cuts the neighbors grass help the elderly on our block , fishes, hunts, councils lost friends ,etc.,etc. He cooks the meals and helps our Priests when they call and when they don’t call. He attends Mass frequently and keeps a mens group in our church going as well as organizing charitable funding when a fellow parishoner or neighbor is in need. He has depended on St. Joseph for all our needs and this is what he has given him to do. Nope he doesn’t have a career so to speak and he suffers from that stigmata even though he doesn’t let human opinion influence him. He’s my hero!!

  5. jalexandermaximilian says

    Great prayer! I will be praying it everyday now before work. I was blessed to get a job doing the grounds at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. This begins my climb out of disability. Pray for me!!! God Bless!

  6. Thomson Lillie says


    It looks like you are living with a man with DNA of St. Joseph or a photo copy of him. I mean no disrespect. You are lucky to have him as your husband. I am from India and surely I would love to have him as my role model.God bless!!!


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