He does not appear in the calendar this year because 17 March is the Second Sunday of Lent.
But this is not as difficult as the rare year when 17 March falls in Holy Week.
It can be St Patrick’s Day on Sunday where the local dedication is St Patrick. So the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin is keeping St Patrick’s Day with the President Michael D. Higgins present. The city’s festival is a five day event.
In London there will be celebrations at St Patrick’s Soho Square on Sunday and Monday with blessing of shamrock at all Masses.
‘The Christians go mad but thanks to ashes that the Church puts on their heads they come to their senses and are cured of their madness,’ commented the Turkish ambassador to Rome in the 1690s.
Carnival ended last night and today, Ash Wednesday, we can receive ashes in church at the start of the Forty Days of Lent.
It marks our commitment to keeping Lent.
John Paul II said that going without things in Lent does not only consist of giving away what we do not need.
‘Going without things is to free oneself from the slavery of a civilisation that is always urging people on to greater comfort and consumption, without a thought for the preservation of our environment which is the common heritage of humanity.’
It’s Shrove Tuesday this Tuesday 5 March but there will be no Parliamentary pancake race. Fear of Brexit demonstrations outside the Palace of Westminster is being given as the reason.
However Winchester Cathedral is inaugurating an annual pancake race at noon. There are 20 teams with clergy and city councillors taking part. The relays in the Close are expected to last until at least 1.30pm.
Across the Thames at the same time there will be races outside Guildhall organised by the livery companies. The Poulters provide the eggs, the Fruiterers the lemons and the Cutlers the cutlery. The Cooks cook.
Abroad it’s carnival or Semlor cream buns (Sweden) but in England we enjoy pancakes before Lent starts on Wednesday.
This Saturday night 5 January the figures of the Three Kings will be seen arriving in towns and villages all over Spain. The street processions are big family occasions.
Another feature of today is enjoying cutting the Twelfth Night cake.
In Spain it is a cake ring called Rosca de Reyes symbolising a king’s crown. Inside is baby figurine. The French have their Gâteau des Rois.o or Gallette des Rois with a small feve (or charm) inside.
England had a similar custom well into the 19th century. The English Twelfth Cake contained a bean. The person finding the bean in their slice of cake was proclaimed king for the evening. The custom died out when the Twelfth Night cake began to be served on the 25 December and became our Christmas cake.
But a Twelfth Cake was enjoyed, although a little early, on Thursday by the 42nd Street cast at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. Another is being cut this evening by the Vic-Wells Association at The Old Vic in Waterloo.
Also tonight, at St James’s Church Spanish Place, Marylebone W1, the Order of Malta is organising the blessing of Epiphany water and chalk at 7pm. You can take the chalk home to write a welcoming C+M+B over the front door for the Three Kings: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
Sunday is The Epiphany when we celebrate in church the arrival of the Wise Men who will now be found as part of the crib scene.