St. Patrick's Day is the celebration of Christianity's arrival in Ireland, through the teachings of their patron saint. March 17th marks the anniversary of the death of the Saint Patrick, who also drove the snakes out of Ireland. The early spring celebration is usually filled with plenty of shamrocks, bagpiped parades, green beer and a healthy portion of corned beef and cabbage. This year, if you are a Catholic, your corned beef is in jeopardy.

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In 2023, March 17th falls on a Friday. The Catholic observance of Lent, which marks the 40 day fast that Jesus went on prior to his ministry, begins on Ash Wednesday February 22nd. Lent ends on Holy Thursday, April 6th, the observance of the last supper. Since, St. Patrick's Day lands on a Friday in 2023, a meat-less observance day during Lent, corned beef should be off the Catholic menu, except if you live in Syracuse.

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According to Don Cazentre of nyup.com, Syracuse Catholic Bishop Douglas J. Lucia has given his Catholic parishioners a dispensation to eat meat on this St. Patrick’s Day. Devout Catholics generally abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the 40 days Lent, yes, even when that Friday is St. Patrick's Day. However, that will not be a problem in the central New York city.

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So, this St. Patrick's Day, when you are getting ready to plan out your corned beef and cabbage dinner, Syracuse may be your destination. That is, unless the bishop from your dioceses gives you the free pass or dispensation to enjoy.

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