Is Valentines Day a feast day?


#1

My kids asked - is today a feast day? Meaning, if we’ve given up candy for lent, is it ok today since we’re celebrating St. Valentine’s Day. I googled it and from what I read, I’m not certain it’s an actual feast day since according the the article, little is know about St. Valentine except that he was beheaded in the third century.

So dear Catholic friends, what say you? Candy or no candy today?

Thank you!


#2

What you are getting at is asking about "solemnities", not "feast" days.

Personal penances are one's own. You may do what you wish. But if you're following the church calendar in that respect, no, today is not a solemnity.

It is the memorial of St. Cyril and Methodius


#3

[quote="yellowbird, post:1, topic:314964"]
My kids asked - is today a feast day? Meaning, if we've given up candy for lent, is it ok today since we're celebrating St. Valentine's Day. I googled it and from what I read, I'm not certain it's an actual feast day since according the the article, little is know about St. Valentine except that he was beheaded in the third century.

So dear Catholic friends, what say you? Candy or no candy today?

Thank you!

[/quote]

I say that it isn't a feast day in the sense of say, The Annunciation. Such is how the whole "exception" thing came about. On the other hand, what you give up for lent is personal, as are exceptions to it, If you choose to relax your lenten discipline in order to celebrate St. Valentine's Day, that is fine.

This whole "Sundays and Feast Days don't count" thing is new to me, anyway. When I was a kid, if we gave it up for lent, we didn't have any from Clean Monday (or Ash Wednesday if you're Latin) until Easter.


#4

Ga

[quote="yellowbird, post:1, topic:314964"]
My kids asked - is today a feast day? Meaning, if we've given up candy for lent, is it ok today since we're celebrating St. Valentine's Day. I googled it and from what I read, I'm not certain it's an actual feast day since according the the article, little is know about St. Valentine except that he was beheaded in the third century.

So dear Catholic friends, what say you? Candy or no candy today?

Thank you!

[/quote]

Actually St. Valentine's Day was take off of the universal calendar for the Catholic Church (the Anglicans and Lutherans still celebrate it) so it is technically not even a feast for the Catholic Church as a whole. In certain places where St. Valentine was an important saint today might be a local feast or solemnity.

But that said...

Giving up things for Lent is a personal matter. If giving up candy was done with the idea that St. Valentine's Day was an exception then there is not really anything wrong with making it an exception. However it probably should have been planned in advance.


#5

[quote="agapewolf, post:2, topic:314964"]
What you are getting at is asking about "solemnities", not "feast" days.

Personal penances are one's own. You may do what you wish. But if you're following the church calendar in that respect, no, today is not a solemnity.

It is the memorial of St. Cyril and Methodius

[/quote]

So solemnities are like minor celebrations, or observances whereas feast days are of greater importance? I can never remember how that works.

Is St. Patrick's Day a feast day a feast day or solemnity? I remember when it fell on a Friday, we were excused from abstaining from meat. At least in Chicago.. it's a big day here. :irish3:

Ok - so I now understand that the lenten sacrifices are personal - will explain that to the kids. That totally makes sense.


#6

[quote="babochka, post:3, topic:314964"]

This whole "Sundays and Feast Days don't count" thing is new to me, anyway. When I was a kid, if we gave it up for lent, we didn't have any from Clean Monday (or Ash Wednesday if you're Latin) until Easter.

[/quote]

And that's sort of what has me confused. Some of my more traditional Catholic friends wouldn't eat candy or sweets just because it's lent - not because they gave it up necessarily. Is that the way it used to be? Lent was a more somber time in general so no parties - treats etc. ?


#7

[quote="yellowbird, post:5, topic:314964"]
So solemnities are like minor celebrations, or observances whereas feast days are of greater importance? I can never remember how that works.

Is St. Patrick's Day a feast day a feast day or solemnity? I remember when it fell on a Friday, we were excused from abstaining from meat. At least in Chicago.. it's a big day here. :irish3:

Ok - so I now understand that the lenten sacrifices are personal - will explain that to the kids. That totally makes sense.

[/quote]

Actually solemnities are the ones of greater importance than feasts. If a solemnity falls on a Friday in Lent (other than Good Friday) then one is gets to celebrate by eating meat if one chooses to do so.)

(St. Patrick's Day is not a solemnity for the Church as a whole but it can be a local solemnity for places, dioceses, or parishes where he is the principle patron saint. But sometimes the bishop will give permission to eat meat even if it would not otherwise be solemnity.)


#8

[quote="yellowbird, post:5, topic:314964"]
So solemnities are like minor celebrations, or observances whereas feast days are of greater importance? I can never remember how that works.

Is St. Patrick's Day a feast day a feast day or solemnity? I remember when it fell on a Friday, we were excused from abstaining from meat. At least in Chicago.. it's a big day here. :irish3:

Ok - so I now understand that the lenten sacrifices are personal - will explain that to the kids. That totally makes sense.

[/quote]

No, solemnities and Sundays are the highest importance, then feasts, then "privileged days"' such as weekdays in Lent and the last week of Advent, then memorials, then optional memorials, then ordinary days.


#9

[quote="yellowbird, post:5, topic:314964"]
So solemnities are like minor celebrations, or observances whereas feast days are of greater importance? I can never remember how that works.

Is St. Patrick's Day a feast day a feast day or solemnity? I remember when it fell on a Friday, we were excused from abstaining from meat. At least in Chicago.. it's a big day here. :irish3:

Ok - so I now understand that the lenten sacrifices are personal - will explain that to the kids. That totally makes sense.

[/quote]

You have it reversed. Solemnities are the highest rank of feast days, such as Christmas, Assumption, All Saints, etc. Feasts are the middle rank, and memorials are the lowest rank. During Lent there are only two solemnities, St. Joseph on 19 March and the Annunciation on 25 March. These are customarily the only two days where people break their Lenten observances. This year Annunciation falls during Holy Week, so it is transferred after the Easter Octave, so we only get one break, so to speak, on St. Joseph's Day.

If the patron of one's parish or diocese has a feast or memorial that falls during Lent (such as St. Patrick in the Archdiocese of New York, or St. Cyril of Jerusalem parish), then that would also be observed as a solemnity in that diocese or parish only.

It is traditional to observe an all-around more austere lifestyle during Lent. A traditional parish is more likely to stress this, but even in other places, it depends on the preaching of the parish priests. It is customary to avoid parties and dining out. Various people that I know do not turn on the TV, or maybe radio, or stay off Facebook.


#10

I never understood the whole giving up candy things. So many sinful behaviors and time wasting activities to give up and people decide on candy? IDK just my opinion.


#11

[quote="GangGreen, post:10, topic:314964"]
I never understood the whole giving up candy things. So many sinful behaviors and time wasting activities to give up and people decide on candy? IDK just my opinion.

[/quote]

You are missing the point of fasting. giving up sinful behaviors should be happening every day, no matter what season.

Giving up something we enjoy that is morally neutral, or fasting, is to help us in self mastery, which in turn, will help us sin less, and in addition, perform penance for our sins...just like we get in the confessional.


#12

[quote="GangGreen, post:10, topic:314964"]
I never understood the whole giving up candy things. So many sinful behaviors and time wasting activities to give up and people decide on candy? IDK just my opinion.

[/quote]

Abstinence from any pleasure is laudable, when done for God's sake. Self-mortification brings us closer to God. Scripture tells us this, as do the saints down through the ages.


#13

l

[quote="yellowbird, post:6, topic:314964"]
And that's sort of what has me confused. Some of my more traditional Catholic friends wouldn't eat candy or sweets just because it's lent - not because they gave it up necessarily. Is that the way it used to be? Lent was a more somber time in general so no parties - treats etc. ?

[/quote]

I think it's partly a matter of people (clergy, religious, and laity) being more educated on the technicalities of law. There were always "loop holes" but I doubt many people (including clergy!) really knew about them. And as you say, the somber character of Lent used to be much more prevalent than it is today. That was often the case for (or at least understood by) non-Catholics as well as Catholics.


#14

Thank you to all who replied. I especially appreicate the correction about my misunderstanding between feast days and solemnities! Good information to know.

I've been Catholic for almost 8 years.. you'd think I'd be able to remember this? :shrug:

Regarding giving up candy: Some of my children are young.. and candy is something they love. Giving it up for lent is a tangible way they can sacrifice abeit in a very small way, to better appreicate the sacrifice Jesus made for them. Children learn by doing. My older kids have matured beyond the no-candy thing and are more thoughtful with their lenten observances like daily bible reading and more prayer time. But regardless, I don't think it's about what we give up - or add. God knows our heart, and blesses us for our intentions and our desire to grow closer to Him. And that's true for a child or an adult..


#15

A few observations, if I may:

-St. Valentine's feast was taken off the universal liturgical calendar by 1969, so yeah, it's now Saints Cyril and Methodius. But if you go to the Extraordinary Form mass, they celebrate St. Valentine's day today (as they did where I went).

-St. Valentine's day was never a really major holiday in the past to begin with.

-giving up candy is a personal discipline you have chosen for Lent, and however that works for you is up to you. A person might decide to give it up only every other day, or every day but Sundays, etc., etc., so the "rule" is only whatever you decided at the beginning. If St. Valentine is, say, your patron saint (i.e. name saint or something) I could see you celebrating today.

-the big popular holidays in America, for example, that happen to have saints names - like St. Patrick's Day - do not necessarily correspond to the rank and importance on the Church calendar. For example, when St. Patrick's day occurs on a Sunday, it simply is cancelled that year, yet people will still be celebrating it, as you will see.

-St. Valentine was a great saint, though. :)


#16

[quote="Leon_Bloy, post:15, topic:314964"]
-St. Valentine was a great saint, though. :)

[/quote]

I personally :heart: him!!!!

;)


#17

[quote="Leon_Bloy, post:15, topic:314964"]
For example, when St. Patrick's day occurs on a Sunday, it simply is cancelled that year, yet people will still be celebrating it, as you will see.

[/quote]

St. Patrick's Day isn't cancelled when it falls on a Sunday. The observance is transferred to another day.


#18

[quote="GangGreen, post:10, topic:314964"]
I never understood the whole giving up candy things. So many sinful behaviors and time wasting activities to give up and people decide on candy? IDK just my opinion.

[/quote]

Try being a kid and having to give up anything candy, sugar, etc. for Lent. I had to do it every year when I was a kid.


#19

[quote="Leon_Bloy, post:15, topic:314964"]
A few observations, if I may:

-St. Valentine's feast was taken off the universal liturgical calendar by 1969, so yeah, it's now Saints Cyril and Methodius. But if you go to the Extraordinary Form mass, they celebrate St. Valentine's day today (as they did where I went).

-St. Valentine was a great saint, though. :)

[/quote]

St. Valentine is a favorite of mine, too, so I was a happy to learn that his feast day is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Next year I'll be sure to look for a parish that offers the EF on Valentine's Day.:)


#20

[quote="yellowbird, post:14, topic:314964"]
Thank you to all who replied. I especially appreicate the correction about my misunderstanding between feast days and solemnities! Good information to know.

I've been Catholic for almost 8 years.. you'd think I'd be able to remember this? :shrug:

Regarding giving up candy: Some of my children are young.. and candy is something they love. Giving it up for lent is a tangible way they can sacrifice abeit in a very small way, to better appreicate the sacrifice Jesus made for them. Children learn by doing. My older kids have matured beyond the no-candy thing and are more thoughtful with their lenten observances like daily bible reading and more prayer time. But regardless, I don't think it's about what we give up - or add. God knows our heart, and blesses us for our intentions and our desire to grow closer to Him. And that's true for a child or an adult..

[/quote]

When we were children Lent meant no treats and going to Mass every day before school -- and having breakfast in school afterwards unless we got up very early.

Of course at the time going to Mass had more to do with colouring the 40-rock "path to Easter" on the sheet with our name on it on the wall of the classroom than true devotion. Kids, including yours truly, can really be little judgmental jerks when commenting on the number of uncoloured rocks on their classmate's path. :(


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