HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)- Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday intersect for the first time since 1945 on Wednesday.
22News talked to priests in western Massachusetts about how the two days may not be so different.
The question is, which one takes precedence? Valentine’s Day, or Ash Wednesday?
“Ash Wednesday,” says Holyoke resident Neil Lunney. “I’ll give thanks to the Lord today and ask for his graces throughout the 40 days of lent.”
While one holiday celebrates sacrifice and another indulgence, Father Albert at Our Lady of the Cross Parish in Holyoke pointed out they both share a common theme of spreading love.
“The cross of ashes on our forehead means absolutely nothing unless we all trace the cross on our hearts,” Father Albert said.
Father Warren Savage, the Catholic Chaplain at Westfield State University, agrees the two holidays come together in some way.
“So the central piece of Ash Wednesay is to render your heart, to purify your heart, to become more focused on love,” Father Savage said. “Maybe Valentine’s Day helps us to focus more on that ongoing need to love one another.”
This isn’t the only rare holiday coincidence this year. Easter falls on April Fools Day.