Sullivan: Valentine's, Lent in holy alliance

Feb 14, 2018, 18:34
Sullivan: Valentine's, Lent in holy alliance

Today is Valentine's Day, but it also happens to be Ash Wednesday. The legend is that he uses his arrow to strike the hearts of people causing them to fall in love.

This April, millions of Christians all around the world will celebrate Easter, the holiest day in Christianity. It gives parishes the opportunity to outreach to possible new members as they go about their hectic day, which includes people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. The Catholic Church and a few other Christian denominations observe the occasion in fasting, abstinence, and prayer. "We're always busy", said Jim Gerodemos, owner of Gino's Steakhouse, which has locations in Merrillville and Dyer.

"Ash Wednesday on Valentine's Day highlights that God is love".

"The food we do not eat or the meat we abstain from must be given to those who practically fast everyday due to extreme poverty, enduring inhuman hunger".

The holiday, which date changes every year, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is marked with a number of unique traditions, including painting eggs and Easter egg hunts.

Instead of a formal worship service, commuters will be able to receiving a prayer, and ashes on their forehead or hand, all while sitting in their vehicle.

Valentine's Day last fell on the same day as Ash Wednesday in 1945.

During Lent, Western Christians begin preparing - through penance, reflection and fasting - for the coming of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

"The church doesn't really require us to do very much fasting during the year, but one of the prime days is Ash Wednesday", Blair said.

Traditionally, anyone 14 years or older would abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the six Fridays of Lent.

"Valentine's Day is all about love, and the beginning of Lent also is about God expressing his sacrificial love for us", May said.

The archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, agreed that Ash Wednesday had precedence, adding that the coincidence of St. Valentine's Day "would not lift for us the duty of fasting and self-denial".

Most believers tend to give up something until Lent ends to "purify" their bodies.

Today, Deacon plans to enjoy a fish fry at home with her fiancée, Jess Schneider, who grew up Catholic.