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Saint Joseph the Worker, Pray for Us! {or: Happy May Day}

May Day! What's not to love? Spring... Flowers... The first day of the month of Our Lady...

And Communism! Wait, what?

In the late 19th century, international communist, socialist, and anarchist movements established May 1st as a day to celebrate laborers and the working class. Today, many countries throughout the world celebrate a Labor Day holiday that coincides with International Workers' Day on May 1st.

But in 1955, Pope Pius XII dedicated May 1st to St. Joseph the Worker as a counterpoint to the socialist and communist ideology behind International Workers' Day.

Side note: this co-opting of the socialist holiday and, as it were, baptizing it for the use of the Church follows a long and venerable tradition; the early Church often took pagan holidays and transformed them into Christian celebrations. (Which is certainly not the same thing as, for example, claiming that Easter is some vaguely disguised celebration of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.)

So. Why have a feast ded…

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