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Rita Hickey wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Recently I was told that in some states, like Allentown, Pennsylvania, St. Patrick's Day was a Holy Day; is it?


  { In some states, was St. Patrick's Day a holy day? }

Mike replied:

Hi Rita,

Thanks for the question.

Each country has its own set of holy days.

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a holy day, but not in the United States. Nevertheless, that's not to say that there aren't immigrants of Irish descent that don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day as a special occasion within any given American parish or diocese, like mine: Boston.

In the United States, their are six Holy Days of Obligation:

  1. Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
  2. Ascension of the Lord (only in the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia; the others have transferred this celebration to the following Sunday)
  3. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  4. All Saints' Day
  5. Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and
  6. Christmas


  • January 1, (Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God)
  • August 15, (Feast of the Assumption), or
  • November 1, (Solemnity of All Saints)

falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass on that date is abrogated or canceled.

Wikipedia also had this note that was referenced by a page on the United States Conference of Catholic bishop's web site:

In Hawaii, in 1992, the Bishop of Honolulu, pursuant to an indult from the Holy See, established the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas as the only
Holy Days of Obligation to be observed in the state.

I couldn't find a easy-to-access list of Holy Day's of Obligation on the bishop's web site but you may this Wikipedia article interesting; I did.

Holy Day of Obligation

I hope this answers your question.


Eric replied:

Hi, Rita —

The best thing to do is to call the diocese of Allentown and ask:


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
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