In his homily the Pope spoke about the dignity of work, saying that labor "is of primary importance for the fulfillment of mankind and the development of society." But the value of work should always be kept in the proper perspective, he continued. He encouraged laborers to imitate St. Joseph, learning "to sanctify themselves through their work."
In his work, the Pontiff continued, the laborer "is both the subject and protagonist." At a time when working conditions are changing rapidly, he insisted that all workers should be treated with dignity, including those who are unemployed and looking for jobs. He condemned all forms of exploitation of workers, and underlined the importance of just pay and adequate rest-- especially rest on the Sabbath, which is a spiritual as well as physical necessity.