Saturday, May 2, 2009

St.Joseph the Worker, May Day, International Workers Day

Today May 1st is a the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
who is also the patron saint of our Parish Church.

God our Father creator and ruler of the universe,
in every age you call us to develop
and use our gifts for the good of others.
With Saint Joseph as our example and guide,
help us to do the work you have asked
and receive the rewards you have promised.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Picture and prayer from The Franciscan ecard site...

For Maltese speaking patrons of this blog here is a link to our parish website...

Today is also May Day, a national holiday in many countries, synonymous with International Workers Day or Labour Day. In pre-Christian times May Day celebrations focussed on the festival of Flora the Roman Goddess of flowers, also the Walpurgis Night (a religious holiday of pre-Christian origin) celebrations of the Germanic countries.

Dancing around the Maypole is another way of observing this feast in America and Europe.

The giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps is a tradition that has unfortunately been slowly fading this past century.

During the process of conversion in Europe many pagan celebrations were abondoned or christenized and today we celebrate this day mostly to commemorate the Worker and his/her rights mostly with peaceful parades or marches. Check here for more on how this day is celebrated in different parts of the world...

In the Roman Catholic tradition May is also observed as Mary's Month and throughout the month of May especially in various schools the Crowning of the Queen of the May is a yearly ceremony that is very much looked forward to. I remember how we used to prepare a crown of flowers or a golden tiara and one of the pupils dressed in white would crown the head of a statue of Our Lady in class, this was also a significant celebration when it was done with the entire school.

Here is a special page for children for the month of May

May the month of May shower on all of you
many Blessings of strength to work,
good will to persevere
and friendships to uplift you!


  1. Doreen, I remember the crowning we used to have at school...
    Oh Mary we crown thee with blossoms today
    Queen of the angels
    and Queen of the May.....
    Nice memories!
    Happy May!

  2. Yep, very nice memories, and do you remember Sue how we used to do the crowning again at home : )
    You can find the lyrics to this lovely hymn on the net if you want them.
    Happy May to you too,
    Doreen : )

  3. I just found out a few years ago about May Day. I had never heard of it before. I'll have to ask my grandmother if she ever celebrated it with baskets. Thanks for the nice words!

  4. Hi Amber, It's nice to find out about these customs/feasts and get to know traditions more closely and yes definitely our parents/grandparents always love to share these with us. I think it is important that we pass on the info and the value to our kids too. Thanks for your kind comments : )


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