For well over a century May 1st has been celebrated around worldwide as labor’s holiday. In 1955 Pius XII established May 1st as the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. “The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter,” explained John Paul II in his 1989 Apostolic Exhortation On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in the Life of Christ and the Church.
If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus' work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.
On this Feast of St Joseph the Worker, let us offer a prayer for all those who work with their hands.
And be especially nice to carpenters.