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How can Christians celebrate Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday at the same time?

A steak at LaSalle Grill in South Bend // WSBT 22 photo

Happy Valentine's Day! For the first time in more than 70 years this holiday of love falls on Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting.

That's why some Christians have found themselves in a bit of a dilemma today.

Traditional Valentine's Day celebrations usually include things you are supposed to give up. You might want to take your sweetie out to a nice dinner. Do it up with chocolate and some nice wine.

But Catholics and other Christians who celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent might have to forgo those today.

"It's a good practice," says Fr. Eric Burgener, St. Pius associate pastor. "it is 40 days, not including sundays. It is a way to be more aware of our need for God."

At places like LaSalle Grill it will be a big night for downtown south bend.

Founder and owner Mark McDonnell says they are booked for tonight.

"Our menu is based on steaks that are cooked over a live hardwood fire," he says.

And while that offers a unique dilemma for Christians, McDonnell has them covered.

"We drop a steak and add a fish during Lent. Particularly on fridays, because that is the day Catholics are supposed to abstain from red meat."

Other restaurants in the area also offer options like this, making it easier for Christians on this Ash Wednesday.

At St. Pius, church leaders recommend following the teachings of church and fasting on this Ash Wedesday.

They say, you could always celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow, or come up with creative ways you and your sweetie can celebrate while still following the rules.

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