For many years, Labor Day has been seen simply as the final weekend of summer, signaling the end of vacations and cookouts and the start of school. But as Robert Longley, About.com's Guide to US Government Info, reminds us, there's a reason why Labor Day bears that name: It was meant as a celebration of American workers.
In Europe, such celebrations usually take place on May Day, May 1, but they have long been taken over by socialists and communists. In 1955, Pope Pius XII, a staunch anticommunist who was also critical of the excesses of capitalism, established the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1 in an attempt to remind Catholics of the Christian dignity of labor.
As we cook our last hot dogs of the season or make the long drive home from our vacation, we might spare a few prayers to Saint Joseph the Worker, who in his typically quiet way provided Christians with the best example of labor in the service of God.