Saint Joseph the Worker and Communism

Sunday, May 1, AD 2016





Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker.  Pius XII instituted the feast in 1955 as a response to Communist May Day celebrations.  In 1949 he issued the Decree Against Communism which excommunicated all Catholics collaborating with Communist organizations. 

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Saint Joseph the Worker and Communism

  • So is the prelate who happily received with pride a communist crucifix from a tin pot Latin American dictator ipso facto excommunicated as an apostate?

  • I’m still pondering the present pope’s comments about “the nations should distribute the wealth…..”

  • I’m still pondering the present pope’s comments about “the nations should distribute the wealth…..”
    Don L
    I figure that beyond bad translation, Pope Francis’s experiences of Statist market-interventionist crony capitalism in Latin America led him to misunderstand free-market entrepreneurial capitalism in the US and Northern Europe.

    This Pope’s comments apply to corrupt, market interfering regimes in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet countries. And even then, his ‘advice’ is significantly less than optimal–especially for those whose material welfare this Pope professes a wish to help the most, the poor of those countries.

    I’d like to see the Pope preach on the Commandment that forbids coveting thy neighbor’s goods. To covet so is a desire for the unearned. The envy that tempts so many Latin American politicians and their public to covet is one of the Deadly Sins. And greed, properly defined, is the desire for the unearned.

    Those who depend on gifts for their livelihood risk being in the near occasion of the sin of greed. It’s an occupational hazard that has long plagued the Church, Tetzel is an especially scandalous example.

Victims of Communism Day: Saint Joseph the Worker, Solzhenitsyn and a Sick West

Friday, May 1, AD 2015




Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker and Victims of Communism Day.  Pius XII instituted the feast in 1955 as an alternative to Communist inspired May Day celebrations and to give workers a saint to look to as they toiled to support their families.

This Victims of Communism Day I would like to recall Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s address at the Harvard Commencement on June 8, 1978.  As perhaps the most well know Soviet dissident it was only to be expected that he would attack Communism and he did.  What strikes me now however in the address are the pathologies of the West he listed in his speech, his analysis of them and how contemporary to our time they feel.  The West in his day was about to experience a new, and and wholly unexpected, burst of good leadership under John Paul II, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.  The good work that they accomplished has been to a large extent undone as of late and thus Solzhenitsyn’s critique of 37 years ago might be an editorial tomorrow:

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales as to how realistic, reasonable, and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And the decline in courage, at times attaining what could be termed a lack of manhood, is ironically emphasized by occasional outbursts and inflexibility on the part of those same functionaries when dealing with weak governments and with countries that lack support, or with doomed currents which clearly cannot offer resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Victims of Communism Day: Saint Joseph the Worker, Solzhenitsyn and a Sick West

  • “It is time in the West to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”

    (Radical feminist doing what’s Right vs. Freedom to do what they want.)

    “..destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space.”

    “What is the joy about?”

    Solzhenitsyn’s speech, timeless.
    The mention of abuses in the “free press” and it’s fallout. It’s dead on.
    Great Job Mr. McClarey!
    Have a blessed feast day.

  • Solzhenitsyn nailed it. I was 13 ad 14 in 1977 and even then, in my teenage-clouded mind, stuck in a three year crush on a girl who didn’t care if I existed, I could see how contorted the media in this country was.

    Since then our media has gotten worse. The sins of the Clintons and Obumbler have been and are ignored. Ask yourself how often your local media ever investigates Democrats. When Tom Corbett was the GOP Attorney general in Pennsylvania, he convicted countless corrupt politicians from both parties, however; most of the convicts were Democrats.

    Today we have a corrupt Democrat Attorney General who got elected channeling Angie Harmon. Kathleen Kane tried less than ten cases in her legal career and spiked a corruption investigation in guess where – the reason Pennsylvania votes Democrat in Presidential elections – Philadelphia.
    Kane is under a grand jury investigation now.

    The West has forgotten God and embraced license instead of freedom.

A Chesterton Poem For Labor Day

Monday, September 1, AD 2014

Saint Joseph and Christ
King Alfred was but a meagre man,
          Bright eyed, but lean and pale:
          And swordless, with his harp and rags,
          He seemed a beggar, such as lags
          Looking for crusts and ale.

          And the woman, with a woman’s eyes
          Of pity at once and ire,
          Said, when that she had glared a span,
          “There is a cake for any man
          If he will watch the fire.”

          And Alfred, bowing heavily,
          Sat down the fire to stir,
          And even as the woman pitied him
          So did he pity her.

          Saying, “O great heart in the night,
          O best cast forth for worst,
          Twilight shall melt and morning stir,
          And no kind thing shall come to her,
          Till God shall turn the world over
          And all the last are first.

          “And well may God with the serving-folk
          Cast in His dreadful lot;
          Is not He too a servant,
          And is not He forgot?

          “For was not God my gardener
          And silent like a slave;
          That opened oaks on the uplands
          Or thicket in graveyard gave?

          “And was not God my armourer,
          All patient and unpaid,
          That sealed my skull as a helmet,
          And ribs for hauberk made?

Continue reading...

4 Responses to A Chesterton Poem For Labor Day

In Praise of a Carpenter

Thursday, May 1, AD 2014

Saint Joseph the Worker and Christ

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death.

Pope Saint Pius X

Continue reading...

7 Responses to In Praise of a Carpenter

  • Another beautiful painting about which I know nothing. Don, you are running 2 out of 3 for me in this department (I knew about Ciseri’s Ecce Homo but not Tanner’s The Annunciation. OK, who painted this one?

  • I confess that I am not sure in regard to this painting who did it.

  • Pingback: Catholic Takeover of Late-Night Comedy by Stephen Colbert - Big Pulpit
  • I did a quick image search on Yahoo and came up with the following: The painting is entitled, “Father and Son,” and was executed by contemporary artist Corbert Gauthier. You can view more of his work and a biographical sketch at There are several evangelical publishing houses on his client list, as well as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

  • One of the most overlooked powerhouse of intercessors, Saint Joseph. One of five sons was in his fathers room at the home where I’m employed. The dad is on his death bed.

    The son called me over and asked if there was anything else we could do.
    I said yes. St. Joesph. We both knelt down and the Spirit of God beckoned;

    “Dear St. Joseph. You we’re privileged to have the Son of God and your chaste spouse Mary ever virgin at your death bed to comfort you and pray to the Father for a peaceful entry into Gods Kingdom. We beckon you now, on behalf of ________ that you will ask Jesus and Mary to come to this bedside, and grant the same privilege to our dear loved one in this his time in need.
    All for the greater glory of God.”

    The lone son thanked me as I started to rise off my knees. As I walked out the doorway I heard “Phil! Come here.”
    I looked over at the son as his father gave up the ghost. The power of St. Joseph. It is true. Call on St. Joseph. He will never disappoint.

    May this help you to help others.

  • I took a photo of main street in our little town. My intention was to paint a picture of Saint Joseph coming to town help us. I needed a photo to look at so I could paint. This was a form of a prayer for me- asking him to come help because we, like many other prairie towns had fallen on hard times, losing population and businesses.
    I took the photo so I could paint my votive painting, but put the disposable camera down and didn’t get it processed for months cause I was just too busy. When we got the photos back finally, we were reminded of the prayer. The photo shows a light that looks like a human figure coming down main street. That little town has been blessed with jobs and business ever since.

  • Anzlyne.

    God is SO good to us.
    His generosity is unsurpassed.
    Thanks for sharing the grace you received. Kisses from above!

Saint Joseph the Worker and Dad

Sunday, September 1, AD 2013

Saint Joseph and Jesus




Every Labor Day weekend two men always pop up in my mind:  Saint Joseph the Worker and my Dad.  When I was growing up I always associated Saint Joseph and my father.  I thought of Saint Joseph as the strong, silent type.  The Gospels recall no speeches or quotes of Saint Joseph, but it does remember his actions:  the refusal to expose Mary publicly when he initially assumed that she had betrayed him, his leading his family into Egypt on the warning of the Angel, the years of Christ’s growth to manhood when Saint Joseph labored to support his family.  That was my father, a man of actions and not words.  My father was not a talkative man, he simply was always there when anything needed to be done.  From going off each day to cut steel in the truck body plant where he worked, to repairing broken items around the house, to fixing a furnace for an old widow who couldn’t pay a professional to come to fix it and then asking my mom to buy the widow a sack of groceries because he saw she had no food in her house, to defending me from a child hood bully, I grew up under the protection and inspiration of my silent father.

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Saint Joseph the Worker and Dad

  • That is a really beautiful tribute, Don. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Much Thanks Donald. Your a loving son and always will be.

    I have been “using” St. Joseph at many death beds of our residents for the past twelve years. He has brought so much peace to the families as their loved one prepares to sail on to another shore.
    To ponder the great possibility of Jesus and Mary at St. Josephs own death bed.
    Then, humbly imploring Joesph to call on Mary & Jesus to be present for our loved one.
    The Carmelite order has Beautiful respect and Honor for St. Joseph…and rightfully so. St. Joseph pray for us.

  • There is much to learn today from St. Joseph’s actions. He, first of all, saw the goodness of the Mother of our Lord and obeyed to His messengers to be able to protect and provide.

    Our culture of many absent fathers, some of whom ironically revere Mary, have ignored the example of the Holy Family and rejected the idea of the work of their hands. Reliance on running water, electricity, sound dwellings, and food hasn’t produced a supply of competent tradesmen. It’s as though ignorance of St. Joseph’s life brought, is bringing, indolence into the role of men who leave their fatherhood for a means of income from the state. Pieces of shattered souls around who could never imagine the richness of your reminiscence.

    Had my father read your post, he might have said it was ‘writ by hand’ if he were pressed to comment.

  • You are so lucky you had a dad like him. I also envision my dad as industrious as Saint Joseph. And you are right, I haven’t really read a lot of Saint Joseph in the bible. I wish there was really some details on what kind of a dad he really was. But I think Jesus had a good man as an example as he grew up to be one fine young man himself. I should let my husband read this.

  • You had a good and earnest dad; so does your daughter she will probably grow up to marry a man who reminds her in some ways of her dad- even if she doesn’t recognize it at first
    The family is how God forwards love in the world.

  • Thank you all for your kind comments. I have always considered myself lucky in my parents. My sainted Mother would often invoke the Holy Family, Mary, Jesus and Joseph, especially in time of crisis, or after my brother or I roused her ire after doing something foolish/bad! I think that helped and I have always remembered the Holy Family as a result.

  • So beautiful! My dad never even got to the 8th grade but he worked and worked and worked. There was nothing he couldn’t do. He was a jack of all trades and he mastered them all. He died so young, only 52 but his efforts left my mother and the boys complete financial security. If he didn’t know how to do it he educated himself until he did it “and did it well”. He was a lifelong Republican and the night before the Kennedy win, he alerted us kids, “If I wake up tomorrow morning and John Kennedy is president of the United States, you are going to see a grown man cry!” When John Kennedy was assassinated he bawled like a baby. He was devastated. When we asked him about it he said, “That man was the president of all of us, not just me. The president no matter what party deserves our respect and prayers even if we don’t agree with him. This is a terrible thing for our country.” I am trying to hang onto that thought now as I truly do not have good feelings about this administration. Maybe St. Joseph could help me with that.

  • I love this image of Christ and St. Joseph. Do you know anything about it, title or artist?

3 Responses to Hymn to Saint Joseph

  • St. Joseph, Provider, for and Protector of, the Holy Family, pray for us.

    St. Joseph, chaste and faithful spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us.

    St. Joseph, foster father of Our Savior, pray for us.

    St. Joseph Worker, pray for us.

  • Pingback: SUNDAY EDITION |
  • I’ve heard a quite recent oratorio composed by an Italian priest, F.Carlo Colafranceschi (R.I.P.) – “Il Custode del redentore (Redemptoris Custos)”, but this one is a celestial one. I can only associate the music with the theological Frenchman masterpiece, ” Le Mystère de Joseph, by F. M.D.Philippe o.p. And finish with a wonderful image of the Redeemer with his foster father published by “l’Osservatore Romano”, on march , 19, 2003: the picture characterizes the main virtues of our Saint, humility and purity, and spiritual joy that comes from them, alleluia! Thank you very much for this divine deed!

Divini Redemtoris

Sunday, May 1, AD 2011

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat; ‘Men have forgotten God; That’s why all this happened.'”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955  as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.  Today is also the beatification of John Paul II.  (I will have much more on Blessed John Paul II tomorrow.)  Today is also the Victims of Communism Day.  Hattip to Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy who began the campaign to make this day a day to remember the some one hundred million men, women and children murdered by Communist regimes and movements.

Continue reading...

9 Responses to Divini Redemtoris

  • Pingback: Victims of Communism Day | The American Catholic - Christian IBD
  • I had completely forgotten about Commie Holy Day until I took a walk earlier this afternoon and noticed some people with SEIU and AFSME jackets and T-shirts on and “Recall Scott Walker” buttons heading down to the Milwaukee lakefront. There was a stage set up but the size of the crowd was really pitiful. In fairness, I was down there at 3 p.m. and so I might have missed the main festivities. Still, I got the idea from the cars parked along Lincoln Memorial Drive – most of them festooned with numerous leftist bumper stickers – that these were the hard-core believers. Not an impressive turn-out at all.

    Then I started to wonder: when did it become acceptable for AMERICAN union members to celebrate May Day? I grew up in a blue collar, unionized neighborhood and certainly none of the union folks I knew as a child – staunch patriots, church-going Catholics and strong anti-Communists (many of them had relatives behind the Iron Curtain, like my family did) – would have dreamt of celebrating May 1. Maybe that was acceptable behavior among the far-left unionists of Western Europe, but certainly not in the States.

    Obviously, at some point after Nov. 1989, that attitude changed. I wonder if it is because unionists are now so much further left than they were 40 years ago that they are unfazed by the association of May 1 with Communism or if many of them are just ignorant. To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

  • To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

    Let me add to my own post: most of the union folks I saw headed toward May Day celebrations were at least my age if not older. Therefore, they are certainly of an age to recall the Cold War. So I’m leaning toward my first thesis – that union true believers have moved so far left that they are no longer embarrassed to be associated with Communism.

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any Che T-shirts.

  • Since we already have a Labor Day in September, I’m all for having a Victims of Communism Day on May 1. I’d forgotten the association until Raymond Arroyo brought it up during the beatification ceremony. But once he said it, all the associations came back. How could I forget? Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was an eye-opening, absorbing work.

  • Yes, we should promote the Victims of Communism Day. Many have never known or forgotten what Communism is. I say is because it is still quite alive in many faculty lounges, union halls and even a few clerics’ hearts.

    We must work to see that Communism is scorned as National Socialism is.

  • I tip my hat to you. Great! Yesterday the Bishop read a letter before the end of Mass with the usual “the machinery of of Capitalism is oiled with the blood of the workers” tripe. The prayer intentions were full of “may politicians see the folly of free markets”, “may the rich nations see their errors and stop the exploitation of the 3rd world”, etc. Nice to see this for a change.

  • Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955 as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.

    Just for the record, May Day as a labor holiday originated not with the Communist Third International, but the social-democratic Second International. Both the Catholic Church and the Commies followed the social-democratic lead and used the same date to honor labor. While the USA and Canada observe Labor Day in September, most of the rest of the world does so on May 1st, enacted as a public holiday by Christian Democratic and Social Democratic governments across the globe.

    However, I am all for including a commemoration of the victims of Communism as part of the holiday.

  • It’s happening right here, right now in our own country.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Stone

Monday, September 6, AD 2010

On Labor Day it is good to recall Saint Joseph the Worker.  When God decided to partake in our humanity, He could have had anyone for His foster father, and He chose a humble carpenter, a man who worked with his hands.  Why?

The Bible gives us no indication that Saint Joseph was intelligent, brave or resourceful.  He may have been all these things, but the Bible does not tell us.  We know that he was of the House of David, but judging from all indications in the Bible he lived in humble circumstances.  What made Joseph stand out to God other than the fact of his heritage?

Kindness I think, simple human kindness.  This was graphically demonstrated at the very beginning when Saint Joseph first is mentioned in the Gospel of Saint Matthew 1:18 and 19:

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Stone