St Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday

What has St Valentine's Day got to do with Ash Wednesday?

Nothing at all, except that this year the day to celebrate romantic love with cards, flowers and chocolates coincides with Ash Wednesday the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. 

The last time that Ash Wednesday fell on 14 February (St Valentine's Day) was in 1945 and before that in 1934, 1923 and 1877. We won't have to wait long for the next time St Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday converge. It will be 2029.

I suppose the main connection is that both feasts are about love, the frailty and fickleness of human love and the strength and faithfulness of divine love.

Some of you might be marked with ash today to remind you of your mortality and to encourage you to turn again to Christ. Some of you may be enjoying chocolate, red roses, sentimental cards or special meals. Some of you may be doing this with a cross of ash still on your foreheads. Some of you may be feeling lonely and unloved today, or missing the great love of your life who is no longer with you. Whatever you are celebrating or not celebrating today, think about this:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3: 16

You can read previous posts about Ash Wednesday here:
Ash Wednesday 2014 
Ash Wednesday: Grateful for dust and ashes
Ash Wednesday
What's Ash Wednesday and Lent about?

You can read other posts about Valentine's Day here:
Happy Valentine's Day?
Ban Valentine's Day

Image Credit: Image found on Liturgy