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The 'Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker' Explained

Updated on April 10, 2015
Catholic Liturgical Calendar
Catholic Liturgical Calendar

When I arrived at school this morning, I overheard two of my students indulging in an interesting and unexpected conversation (debate) concerning the celebration of Roman Catholic feast days. Nonetheless, it didn't take long for me to join in the conversation and become entranced by their curiosity. Thus, I decided that it might be an interesting project for me as an individual to learn more about the saints and martyrs, whose lives are celebrated by other Christian denominations outside of my own. Many of the the saints and martyrs are well known to us all, but it seems to me that even the less known and more obscure should be recognized for their works and not just as a name on the Saint's Day calendars.

Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Carpenter

May 1st is the "Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker," a feast day designated a mere fifty-nine years ago by Pope Pius XII, who served as Pope from March 2, 1939 until his death on October 9, 1958. His purpose in choosing this specific date was far from accidental. May 1st, generally known to be a pagan holiday was also a communist legal holiday. When he designated this date to honor Saint Joseph, he was also making an important statement as to the importance of hard work, personal diligence, and pride of ownership. The Church supports ownership of private property and the initiative it inspires.

Carpenter and Father

Saint Joseph labored as a carpenter, fulfilling the needs of the community in Nazareth. But more importantly he served as the earthly father of God's one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Saint Matthew describes Joseph as a 'just man,' which translates as honorable, righteous, and proper. To give credit where credit is due, I would have to add an adopted child, I can honestly say there is no greater man than one who is willing to raise the child of another.


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