Written by Susan Fleming Mcgurgan

**We value our ecumenical partners and their gifted voices.  If this prayer to St Joseph is not a tradition that is familiar, or one you would be able to use in corporate worship, we hope you still engage it as a gift to the church in a language that is not your own.**
 

St. Joseph, pray for me.
Not you printed on glossy card stock.
Not you with the pale, slender body and golden halo,     
     so elderly,
     so slight,
     so frail,
a mild breeze might knock you right over.

Not the St. Joseph I see on laminated Holy Cards,
But you—
St. Joseph the Worker
       Sinewy.
       Strong.
       Tekton.

St. Joseph the worker
   Carpenter,
   Craftsman,
   Worker,
pray for me.

You, whose arms were thick and muscular,
and whose hands

like mine,     
    like your foster Son’s,
bear the marks of nails.
St. Joseph the Worker, prayer for me

You, whose body was tired and bruised,
like mine,     
     like your foster Son’s,
Whose heart,
like mine,     
     like your foster Son’s,
pounded and pulsed to the arrhythmic beat
of poverty

   and struggle,
   and pain,
   and yet held on despite all odds
to gritty hope,
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for me.

In a church of appearance,
my clothes are greyed
with the dust of drywall
and stained with sweat.
In a church of success,
my pockets are too often empty
and my tools too often idle.
In a church of pretty,
my face is cratered by too much sun
and too many cigarettes
and dark years of cheap scotch
thrown back to ease the pain.
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for me.

In a church filled with praise,  
   my worn out,
   patched up,
held-together-with-bailing-wire-and-medicine-I-can’t-afford
   heart
hungers to lament;
to pour my troubles out like hot tar.
St. Joseph the Worker, pray for me.

In a church filled with Alleluia,
I long to weep and wail;
to lay my weary body down
with my ear to the ground
and listen for the sounds of resurrection
rumbling deep in the earth.
St. Joseph the Worker,
   you, whose palms were calloused like mine,
     pray for me.
Remember me to the Lord.