Sometimes curious coincidences can lead to bold statements and this year, as a result of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, falling on the same day as Valentine’s Day, the Archdiocese of Chicago has made it clear which celebration is more important.
While Valentine’s Day is a celebration of a third-century Christian martyr, it has developed into a into a day for chocolates, roses and sentimental cards and flowers. Acknowledging this, the Archdiocese announced that Lent is the more important holiday of the two and has suggested Catholics choose a different day for Cupid’s arrows to fly, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“The obligation of fast and abstinence must naturally be the priority in the Catholic community,” a statement released by the Archdiocese said. “Valentine’s Day can appropriately be celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which also happens to be Mardi Gras, a traditionally festive time before beginning our Lenten observance.”
Traditionally celebrated the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras includes festivities such as parades, costumes and eating pancakes. This year it appears this day will also hold celebrations for Valentine’s Day in the Archdiocese of the windy city.