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Ash Wednesday observed on Valentine’s for first time since 1945

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 February 2018 at 4:27 pm

Priest says Christ’s death was ultimate act of love and sacrifice

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Father Dan Fawls, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Medina and Middleport, puts ashes on a parishioner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church today during an Ash Wednesday service.

Ash Wednesday is the start of the 40-day Lenten season. It is an opportunity for Christians to sacrifice and deepen their faith.

For the first time since 1945, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day, which is typically a day of indulgence.

Fawls, with ashes on his forehead, also served communion during the service at St. Mary’s. He said the ashes are a reminder that “you are dust and from dust you will return.” However, faith in Jesus Christ offers the hope of eternal life, Fawls said.

He urged the Mass attendees to confront their mortality and keep their faith at the forefront of their lives. The Lenten season offers a focus on more fasting and prayer, which Fawls said will draw people closer to God.

Valentine’s Day is associated with a celebration of romantic love, Fawls said. But the start of Lent is a chance to reflect of the sacrificial love of Jesus, who laid down his life for others, Fawls said.

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