Thursday, February 26, 2009

Benedict XVI Commences Lent



(CNA)- Pope Benedict began Lent yesterday by presiding over Mass at the Church of Saint Sabina and calling on Catholics to enter the period of conversion through frequent contact with the Word of God, more intense prayer and a penitential lifestyle. Let these be “a stimulus to convert and to love our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and needy," he said.

Benedict XVI began yesterday’s Lenten observance with a penitential procession from the church of Sant'Anselmo on Rome's Aventine Hill to the nearby basilica of Santa Sabina where he presided at a Eucharistic celebration.

The Ash Wednesday ceremony included the Pope receiving ashes from Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular of Santa Sabina, after which the Pope imposed ashes upon cardinals, bishops and a number of faithful.

The tradition of Catholics wearing ashes on their foreheads on the first day of Lent comes from the Jewish practice of placing dirt or ashes on their foreheads as a sign of repentance. Likewise, Catholics today begin Lent—a 40 day period of fasting and penance—using the same outward expression of their sorrow and intention to seek deeper conversion. (Read entire article)


Hat Tip: Catholic Fire

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