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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tiong: Ash Wednesday purifies the message of Valentine’s Day; no conflict in being on the same day

2 min readThe vice-rector for Religious Affairs emphasized that it is a “happy" coincidence that the two are set on the same day, “purifying” Valentine’s Day that has been “secularized” through the years in his homily at the UST Plaza Mayor.
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Published 2 months ago on February 18, 2024

by Princess Patricia Lumenario

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day during Ash Wednesday does not come with conflict as we give importance to the same pure heart that should be close to Jesus, according to Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. during the University-wide Ash Wednesday Mass on Feb. 14.

The vice-rector for Religious Affairs emphasized that it is a “happy" coincidence that the two are set on the same day, “purifying” Valentine’s Day that has been “secularized” through the years in his homily at the UST Plaza Mayor.

According to Tiong, we only have one heart, and those symbolized by flowers, balloons, and gifts during Valentine’s Day are the same as those we offer God on the same day.

“The heart that recognizes the forgiveness of God, a heart that follows Jesus, a heart that loves God and loves the neighbor, and so, this is one of the best things that can happen for Valentine's Day,” Tiong said.

Tracing back to its roots, the celebration of love is linked to St. Valentine, who fought for the sanctity of marriage for young people, thereby beheaded in 270.

“St. Valentine was really spreading the truth that there must be fidelity in marriage, originally we have something so important that touches our heart,” the vice-rector said.

During Ash Wednesday, praying, almsgiving, and fasting shall be observed inside and outside, along with starting the transformation in our hearts to get them closer to God by Easter.

Tiong added that the observation of Ash Wednesday does not mean to be sad as we celebrate love, rather it is to show sorrow for our sins.

“Lent is sorrowful, but it is not sad as we follow Jesus; it is a joyful journey,” he said.

At the end of his homily, he encouraged faithfuls to reflect on the message of Ash Wednesday to have a peaceful journey towards God within our hearts this Lent season.

“[W]e begin Ash Wednesday in prayer, humility, and fasting. [L]eave behind everything sinful, that burdens us in our journey,” Tiong said.

“In our hearts, we can find the risen Jesus,” he added.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a time for prayer and fasting that is symbolic of Jesus' forty days and nights of fasting in the Judean Desert.

Holy week this year will fall on March 24 until 31, Easter Sunday. In 2029, Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day will again fall on the same day, which will be followed after around 146 years in 2170.

Ash Wednesday

Valentine’s Day

Lent Season

Profile picture of Princess Patricia Lumenario

Princess Patricia Lumenario

Reports Writer

Princess Patricia Lumenario is a Reports Writer at TomasinoWeb. As an active student-journalist during her high school years, Patricia joined the organization in hopes of continuing her writing journey along with being a medical technology freshman. In her free time, Pat reads novels, watches too much Korean drama, or engages in fangirling activities such as watching concerts or catching up on content. Her savings are solely for collecting photocards, albums, and merchandise of her favorite idol groups. Pat loves her cats more than anything and being with them gives her ultimate comfort.

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