In communist and socialist countries today has traditionally been known as “The Day of the International Solidarity of Workers.” In 1955 Pope Pius XII added to the Church calendar this feast in honor of St. Joseph the Worker. In our Daily Offering prayer we offer to God each day our work along with our prayers. Let us renew that offering now, especially for our new intentions—that initiatives which defend the role of the family may be promoted in society and that Mary may accompany all missionaries—as we reflect on what the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2427-8.
Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat." (2 Thess 3: 10) Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ. In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work.