On this Saturday, the First of May 2021, we celebrate the feast of St Joseph the Worker. This feast has a recent history.
In fact, in the midst of the Cold War, when Soviet Communism was at its most aggressive, the Spirit of the Lord inspired the Venerable Pope Pius XII to ease the global tensions of the time by promoting the Christian dignity of work. In a milieu of violent tensions the only way forward was to celebrate the great blessing of being human, specifically by recognizing human work. While addressing the Christian Associations of Italian Workers in Saint Peter’s Square on May 1, 1955, Pius XII did not mince his words in urging the workers, present at the occasion, not to let numerous voices deceive them in believing that the Church is campaigning against the workers. He told them:
“How many times we have said and explained the love of the Church for the workers! Yet it is widely propagated the heinous slander that ‘the Church is an ally of capitalism against the workers!’ The Church, mother and teacher of all, is always very caring towards the children who are in the most difficult conditions, and also has made a valuable contribution to the achievement of honest progress already made by the various categories of workers”.