There is talk of world depression and of falling off in trade
as though poverty is new from some far off planet strayed
But Saint Joseph knew it long ago and struggled with it too
And that is why is patron of poor folk such as you
When he fled to far off Egypt 'twashis task to find some way
To support the Child and to feed them day by day
All too well he knew the weary search for work of any kind
And that sad return at evening when that work he failed to find
He had just begun to settle down and make a living there
When the Angel came and summoned him - no time for thought or prayer-
"Arise" he said "once more and seek your native land anew
For they are dead who sought his life and no one thinks of you"
So he crossed the desert once again and came to his own town
Where the people had forgotten him and looked him up and down
Where another workman had his job and bore him no good will
Was there work for two good carpenters in that village on a hill?
He had to deal with faultfinders who met him with a frown
And with those who took and never paid and those who beat him down
And the "Sorry can't afford it" and the "Thank you, not today"
And "the other man will do the work for half the price you say"
There were days when food was scanty and some days when there was none
For the Gospel never tells us God worked wonders for his Son
So when times were bad they suffered too like the poorest of the poor
And the love of Child and Mother 'twas that helped him to endure
Dear Saint Joseph Friend of Workers now your secret has been told
It was Jesus and His Mother turned your poverty to gold
Please remind us when the work is hard to find and times are bad
We have Jesus and His Morther just as you, Saint Joseph, had
By Mother Philipa (Kathleen) Higgins
Loreto Order, India, 1930s.