Tuesday, May 01, 2007

M'aidez! M'aidez!

Today is May Day, the socialist worker holiday; otherwise known as the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker.

I've gone on at length elsewhere about the accepted falsehood that "most Christian holidays are just pagan holidays made over; this was done to promote conversion in pagan countries." A pleasant and surprsing by-product of the internet is that, more and more, people are realizing that there are no actual historical grounds for the common claim, and in fact compelling historical reasons to think it untrue (like for instance the unrelenting hostility of early Christian missionaries to any traces of pagan worship among new converts).

Anyway today we have what is an exception to that rule. Pope Pius XII, at a gathering of the Catholic Association of Italian Workers in 1955, announced the institution of a new Josephite feast day expressly to counter the socialist holiday (which was itself supposed to counter religious holidays in socialist and communist countries):
Our intention in doing so is to bring all men to recognize the dignity of labour. It is our hope, that this dignity may supply the motive for the formation of a social order and a body of law founded on the equitable distribution of rights and duties… We are certain that you are indeed pleased, for the humble working man of Nazareth not only personifies before God and the Church the dignity of those who work with their hands, but he is also the constant guardian of yourselves and your families.
St. Joseph, patron of workers and of pregnant mothers, pray for us!

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