May 1 - St Joseph the Worker.
On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII proclaimed May 1 (May Day) as being the feastday of St Joseph the Worker.
Known in many countries as Labour Day, it had its birth that way as the day in 1884 when workers in USA passed a resolution that 8-hours would constitute a legal working day as from May 1 1886. It didn't happen then, and the general strike which then ensued as a result turned bloody, with police firing into crowds to disperse them, a bomb being thrown at police, and later eight people being found guilty of the bombing, and sentenced to death.
Four of them were executed, one committed suicide, and three were pardoned seven years later.
St Joseph is honoured as being a manual worker - a carpenter - who supported Jesus and His Blessed Mother by his labour.
In an address to the Catholic Association of Italian Workers, Pope Pius XII said that May 1 is to be " a day of rejoicing for the concrete and progressive triumph of the Christian ideals of the great family of labour. Acclaimed in this way by Christian workers and having received as it were a Christian Baptism, the first day of May, far from being a stimulus for discord, hate and violence, is and will be a recurring invitation to modern society to accomplish that which is still lacking for social peace."
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