It is a period of 40 days and nights that calls attention to the 40 days and nights Jesus fasted in the wilderness and wrestled with Satan.
The neighboring Diocese of Harrisburg released a statement from the Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, bishop and Pottsville native, regarding the Ash Wednesday obligations of fast and abstinence and its coincidence with Valentine's Day this year.
"We'll still celebrate Valentine's", he said.
Plazewski has said as much to his congregation.
Ash Wednesday is a penitential holy day, a time we confess our sin and commit to turning away from wrongdoing and evil and turning back to God - quite a contrast to the cheerfulness of Valentine's Day, to be sure.
So there are no gimmes on Ash Wednesday for Catholics and others who observe Lent. As the prophet Joel will remind us on Ash Wednesday, "Rend your hearts, not your garments" so that our conversion might penetrate to the core of our being.
At the beginning of Lent, we can focus on the basic Christian plan, what Jesus emphasizes for us every Ash Wednesday in the Gospel: praying, fasting and giving alms.
In contrast to the serious objective of Lent, Valentine's Day celebrates the delightful feelings of romantic love.
Yet, another tradition points to the English poet Chaucer as the creator of the celebration of love and courtship on Valentine's Day. In doing so, we will likely realize we have hurt our spouse, perhaps even unknowingly, and they are now willing to forgive us, too.
"He said you can still celebrate, but do it on Tuesday instead of Ash Wednesday, " Ciupek said. The St. Patrick dispensation to allow the eating of meat on Friday has been granted in the past, but a dispensation on Ash Wednesday for Valentine's Day will not occur, according to the Schlert. "God is a God of love and thats where they would coincide".
"We'll probably have a few fish specials, and I still think Valentine's is going to be a big day", Somolski mused.
Ultimately, it is the attraction exercised on earth unit of consciousness by God in the creative process. "It is the ultimate love story", he says.
At Christ United Methodist Church in downtown St. Petersburg, a banner invites passersby to "Get Your Ash On!"
What's most important to Downs on Ash Wednesday is for people to attend church services and hear "the message of the Lenten season and the call to repentance".
Have a blessed Lent and through the days ahead may you grow in the love of God.
Schlert said, "There are only two days in the universal law of the Church, the Code of Canon Law, that are days of fasting and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday)".
So, I hope you have a love-filled Lent.
St Valentine was a priest and martyr, who fought for the church and particularly for women, by canvassing for one man, one wife, which Apostle Paul championed.
The Rev. William Stenke of Lutheran Church of the Cross in St. Petersburg will offer ashes-to-go to parents as they drop their children off at the churchs day school. "Lent is a tremendous time to take a look at do we really love God and love our neighbor because of God".
However, the calendar was revised in 1969, with St. Valentine's feast day removed. Were it not for love, he had no need to be tempted for he had no sin (Matt. 3-4) Knowing however that we human beings are prone to temptation he traveled the same road to show us by example how to cope with temptation.
"There's a definite connection, Ash Wednesday and "vaLENTines" day".
The Lenten Season ends on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 1 this year.