On 1st May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of St Joseph the Worker – a day dedicated to the dignity of labour and honouring workers throughout the countries of the world. This liturgical feast serves as an incentive to all those involved in the enterprise of labour to devote themselves to the realisation of a social order in keeping with the Gospel.
A prayer written by Pope St. John XXIII:
O glorious Joseph!
Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons, especially entrusted to you.
You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother.
Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God.
Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls.
Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil.
Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did.