CV NEWS FEED // Pennsylvania bishops are calling the faithful to observe traditional fasting and reflect on St Valentine’s martyrdom this Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 14.
Bishop David Zubig of the Pittsburgh Diocese recently dispelled speculation as to whether the fasting requirement for Ash Wednesday would be lifted due to its correspondence with St Valentine’s feast day.
“Ash Wednesday is too important, too sacred to make such a concession,” the bishop said in a local news report.
“We should remember that Saint Valentine was exactly that—a Catholic Saint! He would agree that the celebration that bears his name should take a back seat to Ash Wednesday!”
Although the bishop said couples might consider celebrating Valentine’s Day early, it is “even better,” for couples to “intentionally observe Ash Wednesday together.”
“Couples might make a point of going to Mass and receiving ashes together,” Zubig continued. “Instead of a lavish dinner, couples could share a meager meal together, recognizing that true love isn’t found in material things and fine dining, but in one another and ultimately in God.”
In the diocese of Greensburg, Bishop Larry Kulick also told local news outlets that he would not be granting a dispensation for the 3rd century saint’s feast day.
One parishioner of the diocese lauded the decision saying: “I think it’s fitting to still retain the Ash Wednesday abstinence and fasting and view that St Valentine was a martyr.”
Though much of St Valentine’s history is unknown, he is generally believed to have been a Roman Catholic priest during the reign of emperor Claudius II. Traditional lore surrounding the saint’s life maintains that he was imprisoned and ultimately martyred on February 14, 269, for marrying Christian couples in secret.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh recommends attending a parish fish-fry if couples are still interested in having a date night.