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It’s a Friday in Lent, but Catholics can eat meat today

Church: Abstinence from meat doesn’t apply on St. Joseph’s Day

Grilled top round steak with Parmesan asparagus. Cattlemen’s Beef Board

It’s Friday, but Catholics are free to eat meat today, and the church is ok with it.

For that, you can thank St. Joseph.

During Lent, Catholics are asked to refrain from eating meat during all Fridays in Lent until Easter (April 4). However, today is March 19, which is the feast day of St. Joseph, which is considered a solemnity by the church. According to church law — specifically canon law (1251), if you’re curious — you can eat meat today.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

The Archdiocese of Chicago issued a statement on Twitter that confirmed that Catholics in Lake and Cook counties can eat meat today:

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, chosen as trustworthy guardian to protect Mary and Jesus.

Since this solemnity falls on a Friday, the law of abstinence from meat and meat products does not apply on Friday, March 19, this year (per Canon 1251).

So for this Friday, thank St. Joseph, forgo the fish and have that steak, hamburger or sausage pizza.

St. Joseph.
Adam Ján Figeľ - stock.adobe.com