By Christina Hermoso
Today, May 1, is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (San Jose Obrero), which coincides with Labor Day.
Venerated as the patron saint of the Universal Church, fathers, the dying, and workers, the feast highlights how St. Joseph, as a skilled carpenter, taught Jesus not only basic carpentry skills, but also appreciation and awareness of the dignity of labor.
Aside from the Catholic Church, St. Joseph is also venerated in the Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism.
The month of March is dedicated to Saint Joseph with March 19 observed as his feast day as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church, in addition to his patronages of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary.
The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955, to coincide with the observance of International Labor Day or May Day, which was instituted in 1889 in recognition of the basic rights of workers.