May Day and the feast of St. Joseph

Is there a connection between the feast of St. Joseph (patron of workers) and May 1, aka May Day, an international day for socialist/ communist workers?

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What happened to 1 May is one of the worst embarrassments of the 20th century deformations of the liturgy.

For centuries, 1 May was the feast of Philip and James.

Pius XII instituted Joseph the Worker on 1 May partly in response to the Communist nonsense on May Day. He established it as the very highest rank of feast, even replacing a Sunday in Paschaltide.

Previously, Joseph the Worker had been the theme of the Octave Day of the Patronage of Joseph, a feast abolished when Joseph the Worker was established.

The Joseph the Worker feast was downgraded to the lowest rank in the 1969 calendar (they probably didn’t just cut it entirely out of respect for how recently it had been established).

And so bizarrely, the ancient apostolic feast is displaced, and the novelty remains in both the 1962 and the 1969 calendars.


It’s also my birthday today. I’m 15 :slight_smile:


That is exactly right, the Pope established the St Joseph the Worker feast for May 1, because of the popularity of May Day among European Communists.

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And I think it was a great idea.
One can celebrate Philip and James on another day, or even on this day by reading an old collect.


What makes you think that?

This movement, IMO, could be viewed as an accession by the Church to the very communist forces she has continually decried

Best article on the May disasters in the liturgy:

That’s just silly. Praying to St. Joseph the Worker is always a wonderful thing. He is a very powerful saint and the next one in line behind Mother Mary that we should approach for help.

Mary has many feast days on the calendar. Surely it’s not excessive for Joseph to have two days. He tends to be underappreciated and we really should start asking him more for his help. A couple of recent mystics who I won’t discuss further due to the prohibition on private revelation have mentioned that we should pray more to St. Joseph.

Sure, absolutely. No protest here.

But, couldnt the unification of the feast of SJtW and May Day seem to imply a solidarity between Communists / socialists and the Church that does not exist?

Joseph actually had 2 feast days long before Pius XII was crowned. And the second feast had an octave, the octave day of which commemorated Joseph the Worker.

The problem comes when you abolish the second feast and play musical chairs with ancient apostolic feasts. As Father Hunwicke’s article notes, that bespeaks a culture where the liturgy is just a plaything of pontiffs.

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No, I see it as St. Joseph protecting us (and workers) from Communist error.
The same way as how when the witches plan a time to curse Trump, Fr. Heilman schedules a prayer novena for the President at that time.
Good triumphing over evil.


The feast days were instituted by men and Pontiffs in the first place. God didn’t come down to earth and write with his finger a list of when every saint’s feast day should be.

Also, you are not stopped in any way from venerating any saint on any day that you like. You can surely look up the collect for St Philip and James and read it today.

1,may was a pagan day of celebration long before Christianity came about. Something to do with celebrating the coming of summer I believe. So another excuse for some protestants to be at odds with Catholicism.

I think most people much prefer to celebrate St. Joseph March 19.
Just sayin’

St, Joseph the Worker is seldom, if ever mentioned.
I had no idea there was such a kerfuffle about May day.
LOL Max…post that in L & S and watch the fireworks! Hahahahaha


In the United States the communist May Day holiday is rarely mentioned either.

If you are here, it wouldn’t be surprising.

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Ehh… With the rise of far-left politics in the US, I’ve seen more and more US commies follow their Eurpoean brethren with parades, etc.

The hubs is from Ireland, he never speaks of it either. Max and I are both in the States, yes.

No because Catholicism, specifically, and Christianity, generally, are antithetical to communism. It corrects rather than supports.

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I was actually taught to venerate St. Joseph the Worker since I was a child, and always prayed to him about job matters like getting one or keeping one. I spent much of the last two years praying to him that things would go okay with my husband’s job that husband was always afraid he would lose for the entire 33 years of working for the same company.

I don’t think Ireland has much of a communist heritage either. But there are a number of countries which do.

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