May Day has all sorts of historically varied meanings and traditions among various groups, including Catholics. Since the late 19th century, however, May 1 has been particularly known for its association with workers — particularly, its appropriation if not exploitation by socialists and communists. That began in earnest on May 1, 1889, when socialists launched International Workers’ Day.
“May 1st is May Day, the International Workers’ Holiday,” explains Communist Party USA. “In every nation on earth, working people demonstrate their unity and celebrate those who labor and produce all wealth.” CPUSA adds a complaint: “Ever since May Day was declared an International Workers’ Holiday, in 1889, the capitalist class has desperately tried to suppress all memory of May Day.”
Well, not if socialists and communists can help it. (For the record, socialism was defined by Marx and Lenin as the final transitionary step to communism.) Among the major May Day marches they’re planning this year is a big one in Los Angeles, with a theme that ventures well beyond worker issues: “This year’s theme for the L.A. May Day Coalition … is on lifting up immigrants, worker rights, and fighting against white supremacist brutality against Asian and Black community members,” explains People’s World, the flagship publication of American communism. “We want to lift up our solidarity as community, faith, immigrant rights, LGBTQ+, labor and Muslim organizations, who continue to stand strong with one another in the face of our current challenges.”
For socialists and communists, May Day is their high holy day — the annual major feast day on their ideological calendar. It is their veneration of the worker, albeit channeled to a wider and more destructive purpose. They take a noble cause — workers’ rights — and pervert it into a call for central planning, collectivism and outright abolition of property rights and basic civil liberties, including religion. (Marx and Engels stated: “The entire communist theory may be summed up in a single sentence: abolition of private property.”)
Anyone who has read the writings of these revolutionaries knows that. The Catholic Church knows it. It has warned about socialism and communism in statements going back to 1846, long before the first socialist May Day and even before the publication of the Communist Manifesto. All along, our shepherds warned the flock about how socialists and communists mislead the unwary.
In his 1846 encyclical Qui Pluribus(On Faith and Religion), Blessed Pius IX described communism as a “dark design” of “men in the clothing of sheep,” who are “filled with deceit and cunning” and who “spread pestilential doctrines everywhere and deprave the minds especially of the imprudent, occasioning great losses for religion.”
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