Saint Joseph the Worker. Feast Day may 1st. Pope Pius X1 instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955 to Christianize labour and to provide all workers with a role model and protector. Saint Joseph the divinely appointed earthly guardian of the Virgin Mary and foster father to the Lord Jesus was a carpenter by trade . Joseph worked hard to provide for his family , he was not a wealthy man by any means and he laboured diligently to achieve the necessities for his spouse and the Son of God.Joseph lovingly passed down his carpentry skills to Jesus before he began his spiritual ministry. Christianity emphasises the importance of labour in mans life ,even from the time of Adam and Eve part of mans assignment was to continue the work of Gods creation. As children of God we are all called to bare fruit with our hands and minds and to put in to good use the talents God has given us. Each person has been blessed by God with special gifts, to build up the body of Christ we are beseeched to teach and share those skills and their fruits with others as well as among our own families .In addition there is a special dignity and value to work carried out for the care and love of others . Saint Joseph demonstrates the value of hard work and the importance of sharing with others . The liturgy of the feast celebrates the human right to work.
Saint Athanius. Feast Day. May 2nd. Athanius was born in Alexandria in Egypt in 296 AD to Christian parents and was educated under the influence of bishop Alexander. As a young man he spent a considerable amount of his time with saint Anthony in the desert. In 319 he became a deacon and later rose to the position of Bishop of Alexandria succeeding his mentor Alexander.His episcopate lasted for 46 years ,during which 17 of them were spent in exile . Altogether he was exiled on five different occasions by 4 different emperors.Saint Athanius had a very strong devotion to the Holy Trinity to whom he was a great defender and he avidly opposed the theory of Arianism. His strong defence of the Triune God led to many of the trials and tribulations he endured and gave birth to many fierce disputes with various Roman emperors. He is a renown Christian theologian and his writings were very highly regarded by all the Church fathers in the east and west . Athanius is counted as one of the 4 great eastern doctors of the Catholic church, in the eastern orthodox Church he has been bestowed with the title ” Father of Orthodoxy”. He died a peaceful death on May 2, 373 AD in Alexandria.
St Philip and St James “The Just”. Feast Day. May 3rd. Saint James the Lesser as he is referred to was the author of the Catholic Epistle James and was the son of Alphaeus, he is not to be confused with James the Greater the son of Zebedee and brother of John. James also was one of the original apostles his mother is believed to have been a close relative of the Virgin Mary and for that reason according to Jewish custom he was sometimes called the brother of the Lord.According to tradition he was the first Bishop of Jerusalem and attended the council there around the year 50 AD. Saint Paul says he was present at the Resurrection of Jesus and that he was a “pillar of the Church”, whom he consulted about the Gospel.James was martyred for his faith in AD 62 by the Jews and was given the name ” James the Just” . James is the patron saint of Pharmacists and dying people. Philip was born in Bethsaida like Peter and Andrew the apostles and was most likely an early disciple of john the Baptist before he joined Jesus.He is listed as one of the original 12 apostles in the Synoptic Gospels and Saint john the Evangelist also makes several references to him . In Saint Johns Gospel ,Philip was present at the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, he is approached by Hellenistic Jews to introduce them to Jesus , Jesus answers Philips question to show them the Father. Jn 14.8 and he is mentioned as one of the apostles at Pentecost. John also states in his writings that it was Philip who presented Jesus to the apostle Nathanael also known as Bartholomew.After Christ’s death it is believed that Philip preached the Gospel in Phrygia Syria and Greece and died in Hierapolis around 80 AD, martyred by crucifixion upside down under the rule of the emperor Diocletian. His relics are enshrined in the basilica of the 12 Apostles in Rome. Philip is the patron Saint of Uruquay and hatters.