February 23, 2023

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez Grants Dispensation from the Obligation to Abstain from Meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick

The Memorial of Saint Patrick (March 17th) falls on a Friday during the Season of Lent this year

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces that Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, in accord with the Code of Canon Law (canon 87), has granted a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from the obligation to abstain from meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick – Friday, March 17th, 2023.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States prescribe as part of a minimal penitential obligation that all persons who are fourteen years of age and older are bound to abstain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent. 

In certain circumstances, such as the coincidence of Saint Patrick’s Day and a Friday of Lent, the Diocesan Bishop may grant a dispensation from this obligation. However, if a Catholic makes the choice not to abstain from meat, then some other penance of choice is to be observed in honor of the passion and death of our Lord on the cross.

Saint Patrick’s Day,  recalls the memory of this missionary Apostle to Ireland; his preaching of the Faith; and his encouragement to live authentic Christian lives. Faithful throughout the Archdiocese may observe March 17, 2023 by choosing a penitential act other than abstaining from meat.

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Alaina N. Longo
Deputy Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office)