Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday share the same spot on the calendar

Local News

Love birds everywhere are getting ready for Valentine’s Day.
And for the first time since World War II, it is happening on a day of fasting and holiness.

Lent actually begins on the same day as Valentine’s Day this year.

“We bring in people and try to make their special day even better,” said Brian Neuens, owner and head chef at Bleu Restaurant and Lounge in De Pere.

It is a special day for both lovers and religion, which could cause a bit of a dilemma.
The countdown to Easter starts with Ash Wednesday, though the owner of Bleu does not think that will interrupt too many dinner plans.

“Tomorrow’s definitely business as usual,” said Neuens. “Valentine’s Day is typically one of the busiest days of the year, so we’re booked up.”

St. Valentine was a martyr–a man who gave his life for his faith, but not before spreading a message of love.
Some see Wednesday’s rare double-dose of holidays as a golden opportunity to see what kind of people we really are.

“We have to reflect on life and think deeply about our relationship with Jesus, where we’ve been, and where we’re going,” said Father John Girotti of the Diocese of Green Bay.

For others, there is more of a commitment to serve a good plate of food to folks who are intent on making it a night to remember.

“I think they’re interested in showing their love for each other and maybe God can wait a day,” said Neuens.

For anyone feeling a little conflicted, the answer is more apparent than you might think. 
All you have to do is step back and remember the central theme of both holidays: love.

“What matters is our spirit and what’s inside of us,” said Father Girotti. “It’s a day when we call to mind God’s love for us and whether that’s on a date or whether that’s the person that we love, what matters is the love that we have for each other reflects God’s love for us.”

This year’s Lenten season ends on April 1st–Easter Sunday.

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