The pope was speaking at his Wednesday general audience.
The pope’s homily was read by Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
"May the corporal fasting to which Lent calls us fortify our spirit for the battle against sin,” Pope Francis said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.