Ash Wednesday

Pope Francis presides over Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome on Feb. 14, 2024. | Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: "Let us return to God with all our heart"

Feb 14, 2024

The Lord is inviting us to “remove the masks we so often wear” and to see ourselves as we truly are in the sight of God, the pope said in his Ash Wednesday homily.

Ashes at Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino in Rome. | Credit: Vatican Media

10 Important Things to Know about Ash Wednesday

Feb 14, 2024

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which is structured to spiritually prepare to walk with the Lord through his passion and celebrate his resurrection.

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5 Ways to Observe St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday

Feb 13, 2024

A seminarian from Chile offers couples some advice for marking both days on Feb. 14.

Credit: MarjanCermelj / Shutterstock

How to Honor Valentine’s Day on Ash Wednesday 

Feb 11, 2024

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. But the two days don’t need to be completely at odds with one another, according to Father Dustin Dought.

Pope Francis at the Church of St. Anselm on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. | Credit: L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis to Preside at Ash Wednesday Mass and Traditional Procession in Rome

Feb 8, 2024

Pope Francis will preside at the Mass and the traditional Ash Wednesday procession on Feb. 14 on Aventine Hill in Rome.

Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for his weekly general audience on Ash Wednesday Feb. 22, 2023. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Free Yourself "from the dictatorship of full schedules"

Feb 22, 2023

“This,” the pope said, “is the favorable time to be converted, to stop looking at ourselves and to start looking into ourselves.”

Pope Francis at the general audience in Paul VI Hall on March 2, 2022. Vatican Media.

Lent is a Time for Conversion, Interior Renewal: Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday

Mar 2, 2022

The pope was speaking at his Wednesday general audience.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrates Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, Italy, March 2, 2022. Vatican Media.

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Lent is about Eternal Rewards, Not Appearances

Mar 2, 2022

The pope’s homily was read by Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Pope Francis during his general audience in Paul VI Hall on January 26, 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Addiction to Digital Media Can Hurt Human Relationships: Pope Francis’ Lenten Message

Feb 24, 2022

"May the corporal fasting to which Lent calls us fortify our spirit for the battle against sin,” Pope Francis said.

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Bishop in Botswana Recounts Ash Wednesday Experience amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Feb 18, 2021

The Bishop of Botswana’s Gaborone Diocese has recounted his experience of Ash Wednesday amid COVID-19 restrictions in the Southern African nation where public worship remains suspended.

Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese / Oyo Diocese/Facebook Page

COVID-19 Isn’t Only Pandemic Assailing Nigeria, Bishop Says on Ash Wednesday

Feb 17, 2021

At the beginning of Lent, a Bishop in Nigeria has outlined other “pandemics”, which the West African country has to fight against besides COVID-19.

Courtesy Photo

Jesuits in South Africa Provide Guide for Ash Wednesday Celebration “at home, in family”

Feb 16, 2021

Catholics who will not be going to Church for the celebration of Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent have the option of marking the event at home with their family members using a guide that has been developed by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at the Jesuit Institute South Africa.

Ash Wednesday / Courtesy Photo

Clergy in Zambia’s Ndola Diocese to Use "any decent leaves, branches" for Ash Wednesday

Feb 14, 2021

The Bishop of Zambia’s Diocese of Ndola has directed members of the Clergy in his jurisdiction to use any dried plants to prepare the Ashes that will be used at the beginning of Lent, Wednesday, February 17. 

Bishop Joseph Kizito of the Catholic Diocese of Aliwal in South Africa. / The Southern Cross

Diocese in South Africa to Use Palm Branches “from other years” for Ash Wednesday

Feb 14, 2021

The Catholic Diocese of Aliwal in South Africa has a variety of options for this year’s Ash Wednesday, including getting ashes from unused previous years’ palm branches.

Lisa Missenda/Shutterstock.

Clerics in Zimbabwe’s Gokwe Diocese Directed to “arrange how” to Avail Ashes to Faithful

Feb 10, 2021

Members of the Clergy in Zimbabwe’s Gokwe Diocese have been directed to “arrange how” to avail Ash Wednesday ashes to the faithful to bring them to their “respective homes” at the beginning of Lent, February 17.

Catholics in Nigeria's Sokoto Diocese participating in Prayer Protest called by the Bishops on Ash Wednesday, February 26 2020. They are wearing black  in solidarity with many kidnapped and killed persons in Nigeria. / Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Nigeria

Christians in Nigeria Hold “symbolic prayer protest” in Black, Pray for Security

Feb 28, 2020

As Catholics worldwide started the Lenten Season on Ash Wednesday, February 26, the Christian faithful in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, participated in a “symbolic” Prayer Protest as directed by the body of Catholic Bishops.

The Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Fr. Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi.

Catholics in Nigeria to Be in Black on Ash Wednesday “in solidarity with abducted, killed”

Feb 22, 2020

Against the backdrop of insecurity in Nigeria, Catholic Bishops in the West African country have resolved to have all Catholics demonstrate their solidarity with the victims of kidnappings and murder by organizing a Prayer Protest while wearing black at the start of the Lenten Season February 26.