The Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama, Untied States, has told its congregation to celebrate Valentine’s Day a day before or after February 14 as it coincides with Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Period.
In a notice by the Most Revd. Robert J. Baker, Bishop of Birmingham in Alabama, titled: RE: ASH WEDNESDAY dated January 29, 2018, he wrote: For the first time since 1945, Valentine’s Day falls this year on Ash Wednesday. Some have wondered whether a dispensation from the standard laws of fast and abstinence would be granted.
“Out of respect for the importance of Ash Wednesday in the lives of so many – including non-Catholic brethren – and the way this custom underlines the importance of the Lenten season at its outset, a dispensation will not be given.
“Those who wish to celebrate Valentine’s Day may fittingly do so the day before (Mardi Gras) or on any other non-penitential day. The good Lord, who suffered so much out of love for all of us, will surely reward our fidelity and sacrifice! A blessed Lenten season to all!”