Q. The American civil holiday Labor Day was established to recognize the hard work, sacrifices, and contributions of workers. Does the Catholic Church calendar have anything similar to Labor Day?
A. The feast of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1), though primarily devoted to honoring the foster father of Our Lord, also serves as something like a “Catholic Labor Day.” It was established in 1955 by Pope Pius XII as a Catholic alternative to the worldwide Communist-sponsored May Day celebrations for workers. The feast recalls St. Joseph’s specific role as a carpenter and an exemplary model for all who work. As we honor him, we honor all laborers, recalling the dignity of human work as a participation in the creative work of God Himself.