March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, while May 1 has been the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker since 1955. (Additionally, the month of May has been Mary’s month dating to the 13th century. May Day as a socialist holiday didn’t come around until almost the 20th century.)
Here’s what AmericanCatholic.org says about May 1:
Apparently in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pius XII instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Worker in 1955. But the relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers has a much longer history.
In a constantly necessary effort to keep Jesus from being removed from ordinary human life, the Church has from the beginning proudly emphasized that Jesus was a carpenter, obviously trained by Joseph in both the satisfactions and the drudgery of that vocation. Humanity is like God not only in thinking and loving, but also in creating. Whether we make a table or a cathedral, we are called to bear fruit with our hands and mind, ultimately for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Saint John Paul II had the following to say about St. Joseph:
“Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.”
Here’s a prayer to St. Joseph the Worker (for employment) for anyone who is looking for work:
God our Father and our Creator, You bestow on
Us gifts and talents to develop and use in accord with Your will.
Grant to me, through the intercession of St. Joseph the Worker,
As model and guide, employment and work, that I may with dignity,
provide for those who depend upon me for care and support.
Grant me the opportunities to use
my energy and my talents and abilities
for the good of all,
and the glory of Your name. Amen
Other resources on St. Joseph the Worker:
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.