Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955 as a celebration that extends the relationship between Saint Joseph and the cause of workers in the Catholic faith. The day celebrates both Saint Joseph and, through his work, the Church's commitment to the dignity of the worker. Pope Pius XII wrote:
“The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.”
The feast date selection was chosen for May 1st as it coincided with May Day (the international worker's day). The selection of this day partially arose as a counteract to the nonreligious (and often communist) celebration of May Day as the day grew in popularity.