Sunday, April 29, 2007

St. Joseph the Worker: May 1

May Day has had many holiday values over time (see Beltane, for example), but it is definitely best known in the 20th century as International Workers' Day.

Well, in 1955, Pope Pius XII declared a feast of "Saint Joseph the Worker," as a Catholic alternative to the Communist holiday. Saint Joseph has a traditional feast day as the "Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary," on March 19, but the May Day holiday is instead focused on Joseph the worker, the carpenter, with an emphasis on his role as a father-figure for the young Jesus.

Recently, Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters who build houses, has also taken on a special meaning for people selling houses. Yes, real estate agents. The story goes that if you bury a Saint Joseph statue in the yard, you will be able to sell the house quickly. "Saint Joseph Statue Home Sales Kits" are available from for just $9.95.

Here is a picture of the kit, which includes a statue, a protective plastic burial bag along with a cloth storage bag:

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