An Associate Priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Onumah of Mater-Dei Catholic Parish, Gwagwalada has advised Christians to demonstrate sacrificial love and alms giving during and after the Lenten period along side with Valentine Day.
Onumah gave the advice in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that celebrating Ash Wednesday on Valentine Day is not a coincident but providential.
According to him, the feast of Valentine is about a Roman priest, who sacrificed his life for love of others, just as Jesus Christ sacrificed His for mankind.
“It is providential that valentine Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day not a coincident; of course they are both the moment of love.
“The feast of valentine actually draws from the Christian calendar, saint valentine a Roman priest, who went against the Emperor and sacrificed even his own life for others to exhibit genuine love.
“It means that valentine is a time to celebrate sacrificial love and lent is a time we remember the sacrificial love of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.
“Therefore, on this day when lent begins, valentine is celebrated.
“It is an attention to all Christians that both feast are to be celebrate; they are not rivals; they celebrate the same mystery of love,’’ he said.
Onumah, however, advised that Christians should continue to express love by sacrificing their joy for others after receiving the Ash, saying that is valentine.
He said: “by so doing we are remembering the Christ who sacrificed himself for us.’’
“In the 40 days of fasting, we should see it as an avenue to be able to rise so highly above the inclinations of the flesh, and endeavour to observe the three arms of lent.
The cleric listed the three arms of lent to include fasting, alms giving and abstinence, adding that anyone who keys into these will not have any regret.