Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Feast days of both saints falls during time of sacrifice.

For some, this will be an inconvenient Lent. St. Valentine's Day, typically celebrated with sweets, falls a day after Lent begins.However, for Irish Americans who like corned beef and suds on St Patrick's Day, that holiday which often falls on a Friday, which is a day of abstinence, the get a reprieve this year. March 17, 2013 falls on a Sunday when Lenten fasting regulations are dispensed. 

Catholic first, a Valentine second.

Catholic first, a Valentine second.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/15/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Catholic, Lent, St. Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Friday, Irish, devotion, abstinence


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Two popular American holidays sometimes to fall on inconvenient days for Catholics. St. Valentine's Day is the day after Ash Wednesday and St. Patrick's Day often falls on a Friday. However, this year the Irish (and we are all Irish on St. Patricks Day) get a break. It falls on a Sunday in 2013, when Lenten fasting is dispensed with.

For Catholics who enjoy celebrating these holidays with indulgences of various sorts, the desire to religiously celebrate these days may conflict with genuine religious devotion.

Lent isn't intended to be convenient. In fact, convenience may be the antithesis of the spirit of the season. Lent is a season of sacrifice so that spiritual renewal can happen. It's much like pruning a tree so new growth can occur.

Part of that pruning process includes prayer, fasting, and abstinence. Many people who faithfully embark on these devotions report greater happiness and spiritual fulfillment. In other words, one enjoys a greater reward later in exchange for their sacrifice in the here and now.

This also applies to holidays.

St. Valentine's Day is a secular holiday, in addition to being the feast day for the popular saint. It is the secular trappings which are popularly celebrated. The giving of flowers, sweets, and other romantic gestures that usually cost small fortunes, are products of the modern age of marketing and commercialism. These are not designed to improve one's spirituality, but are instead designed to part you from your money.

For this reason, couples should consider a different devotion, one that may genuinely enhance their love for one another. It may seem a bit odd, but attending mass, or performing an act of service, or simply spending quiet time together make for good alternatives that can be quite romantic while remaining faithful to the season.

For men, you could consider staying in and making dinner at home and watching a romantic movie with your spouse. This in itself, may be considered a Lenten sacrifice for husbands, although we do not yet have this on proper ecclesiastical authority, so don't take our word for it.

In some cases, you may be paired with someone who insists on celebrating anyway, in exception to the spirit of the season. While you may not be under any formal obligation to refrain from anything on Valentine's Day, if you feel that maintaining your sacrifice is meaningful to you and your partner does not, then you may wish to consider if you are equally yoked in your relationship.

When it comes to St. Patrick's Day, the number of Catholics inclined to break their Lenten abstinence may be fewer in number, as Americans of Irish heritage celebrate in the form of consuming corned beef and sudsy beverages. It is an American thing. Still, it is significant. It is also a moot issue in 2013 when March 17 falls on a Sunday. Lenten fasting regulations are dispensed with on Sundays. 

However, it is helpful to remember that abstinence, which characterizes the whole season, does not mean one has license to indulge in all you can eat. Abstinence is a more general concept which includes refraining from excess.

Americans, unlike Irish celebrants across the Atlantic, tend to take advantage of the holiday as an excuse to consume large quantities of alcohol.

The holiday, as celebrated in America, is more an occasion of nationalistic pride, or heritage, than a true religious devotion. As a religious occasion, the devotion to the Saint includes prayers and feasting. Consumption which is permitted, should be reasonable.

One should not use the feast day of a saint as an excuse to break from the spirit of our Lenten devotion to Christ.

That said, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate your heritage on St. Patrick's Day. Attendance at mass is an extremely Irish way to start the day. Wearing green, watching a parade, even dying the local water green (provided it is lawful), can be part of the holiday without entering into excess.

We must remember, that whether Lent is upon us or not, many of our holidays have strong secular traditions built around them. These secular traditions often intrude upon our religious ones, and even crowd them out. Christmas quickly comes to mind.

We may be romantic lovers, we may be Irish, but first and foremost, we are Catholic; We are Christians devoted to God. Where should our first allegiance be if not with God?


NOTE: The original article errantly stated that St Patrick's day fell on a Friday. It often does during Lent. It has been edited to note the correction.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

6 types of men Christian women should dismiss for marriage Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Women, and men, should be wary of whom they shall live with for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not a temporary commitment, it lasts for a lifetime no matter how you will put it --- two people still shared the same vows to cherish one another through a sacred ... continue reading


Pope Franics to host major conference on climate change Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will host a major summit on April 28 entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The conference will feature famous American economist, ... continue reading


Can Catholics Practice Yoga and Transcendental Meditation?

Image of

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Among many Christians who are honestly seeking to deepen their prayer life, there is a genuine concern about erroneous forms of prayer. People should be careful to accept practices which diverge from the faith they have received, whether through the family or in a ... continue reading


Is there a war between feminism and the Catholic Church? American nuns' 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' Watch

Image of The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ended an investigation into radical feminist ideals held by the U.S.'s largest nun group, warning the organization to fall in line with Catholic orthodox stances.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year-long inquiry into American nuns by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concluded, and will not take any action against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the body that governs around 80 percent of nuns in the ... continue reading


Passionate pastor attempts to fix the missing spiritual link in churches across the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Percy McCray suggests that leaders of faith should undergo in-depth training programs to better deal with cancer-stricken patients and their hurting families. According to McCray, as it stands now, most churches across the United States lack the proper ... continue reading


Dialogue: an essential ingredient for peaceful relationships Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

According to the New York Times, during a White House luncheon in 1954 Winston Churchill said, "To jaw-jaw [talk-talk] always is better than to war-war." While clearly not a pacifist, the United Kingdom's World War II prime minister had seen upfront the absolute horror ... continue reading


Pope Francis risks international outrage by using term 'genocide' to describe Armenia massacre Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Risking international opinion and possibly stirring up anger throughout Turkey, Pope Francis used the word "genocide" to refer to the mass killings of Armenians a century ago under the Ottoman Empire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In the past century, our ... continue reading


Pope Francis: Children 'can never be considered a mistake' Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis said Wednesday that children are never a mistake, and called adults out for building faulty systems that leave children exploited and abandoned, rather than treated as the blessings they are. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Brothers and sisters, think about this ... continue reading


Easter around the world: 10 amazing photos that caputre Easter celebrations

Image of Easter vigil

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians all over the world observed the Lenten Season and ended with the celebration of Easter Sunday, the symbolism of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Across the globe, believers from different countries celebrated in various ways. With the use of social media, ... continue reading


5 wonderful ways to remind yourself Jesus is always with you Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All our troubles and hardships may sway us from the idea that Jesus is always with us, no matter what we're doing or what we're currently going through. If anything, our hardships should bring us closer to Him. We sway from Him because for most of us, Jesus is just a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 6:1-7
1 About this time, when the number of disciples was ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
4 The word of Yahweh is straightforward, all he does ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
16 That evening the disciples went down to the shore ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2015 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter