The last time Valentine’s Day fell on Ash Wednesday and Easter on April Fool’s Day was in 1945. It seems strange when a day of fasting and penance coincides with a day more typically devoted to indulgence — beautiful red roses, dining out, and boxes of chocolates.
On Ash Wednesday 1945, World War II was and the United Nations was on the horizon. “Sentimental Journey” was the number one song for the year and “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman, was the top grossing movie. The NFL champions were the Cleveland Rams. People were reading “The Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger. The Slinky was the most popular Christmas Gift.
Some have suggested that we go ahead and share candy with loved ones (saving it for later, of course) and instead of fasting from food, turn off our cellphones and social media. Focus on being with one another in the present — being mindful of who and where we are with one another, and in that way draw closer to God.
Friar Vince Petersen recorded an episode for Franciscan Voice perfect for Valentine’s Day this year: “Fall in Love with God Again.” Listen and choose God for your Valentine this year.