While Catholics abstain from eating meat during the Fridays of Lent, this Friday, March 19 they are not obliged to do so because it is the solemnity of St. Joseph, according to a new directive by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Divine Worship.
Just as penitential practices are relieved on Sundays, solemnities are of “the highest rank of liturgical observance” and on such days “the prescribed penance of Lent is not obligatory,” said a letter from Father Dennis Gill, director of the worship office.
For that reason, “it is permissible to eat meat on St. Joseph’s Day without violating the Lenten discipline,” the letter read.
It cited as the basis for the directive the church’s canon law (no. 1251) that abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent is relieved when a solemnity falls on a Friday.
Pope Francis has declared this the Year of St. Joseph, and in particular on his solemn feast day, “the faithful are encouraged to honor St. Joseph in some way,” the letter read.
The pope invited everyone “to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession, and to imitate his virtues and his zeal” in his apostolic letter Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) which he wrote Dec. 8, 2020 on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church and declaring the year dedicated to him.
See more resources on the Year of St. Joseph from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, here.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103