Seeking to shore up support for her embattled health bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced it was the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, adding “We pray to Saint Joseph to benefit the workers of America which is what our health bill would do.”
Problem is, March 19 is indeed the feast day of Saint Joseph, foster-father of Jesus. But the actual feast of St. Joseph the Worker (same man, two ways of commemorating him) comes in six weeks. Set for May 1, it was introduced by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to counteract May Day, the high holiday for communist and socialist workers.
Maybe the House Speaker made an honest mistake but her transposing the two saints days already has the Catholic groups and blogs fuming. Here is one example. Note to Mrs. Pelosi’s staff: If your boss is going to call on Saint Joseph for support, it’d be a good idea to do a little factchecking beforehand.
- Julia Duin, religion editor