Lent 2021

This year, Lent starts on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and ends on Thursday, April 1 with evening mass on Holy Thursday. Lent is the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter. It is a period observed by Christians as preparation for Easter, involving prayer, fasting and penitence.

The Latest

Pope Francis thanks Fr. Giulio Michelini at the end of his Lenten retreat in Ariccia March 10, 2017. L'Osservatore Romano.

He's back! Pope Francis returns to Rome grateful for spiritual retreat

Mar 10, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

After spending a week in Ariccia with members of the Curia for their annual Lenten spiritual exercises, Pope Francis returned... Read more

Corned beef and cabbage.

Where it's OK to eat corned beef on St. Patrick's Day this Lent

Mar 9, 2017

By Mary Farrow

If you’re an Irish Catholic (or any Catholic) living in the United States, you will need to check with your... Read more

Pope Francis praying.

Pope Francis is going on retreat – and you can join in

Mar 4, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

As Pope Francis leaves Sunday to begin his annual Lenten retreat, Fr. Giulio Michelini, the priest leading this year’s spiritual... Read more

Pope Francis visits the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica to pray at the tombs of his predecessors, Nov. 2, 2015.

Pope Francis seeks silence, reflection on annual retreat

Mar 3, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia leave Sunday to begin their annual five-day retreat on the spiritual exercises... Read more

Pope Francis at the Church of St. Anselm on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Pope Francis has a special message this Lent, and here it is

Mar 1, 2017

In his message for Lent 2017, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that they should heed the Scriptures and treat each... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass at Basilica Santa Sabina, March 1, 2017.

Pope on Ash Wednesday: Feeling suffocated by sin? Let God save you

Mar 1, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

At Ash Wednesday Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the bad habits, negativity, and sin present in our lives which cause... Read more

Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square for a Jubilee of Mercy audience June 18, 2016.

Lent isn’t just about penance – it’s also a time of hope, Pope Francis says

Mar 1, 2017

By Hannah Brockhaus

On Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis said that while Lent is certainly a time of mortification, it’s also a journey of... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his general audience Jan. 13, 2016.

Money doesn't make you rich – loving others does, Pope says

Feb 7, 2017

By Elise Harris

Pope Francis’ pastoral heart came out in his Lenten message this year, focusing in what could be a lengthy homily... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his general audience on Nov. 29, 2014.

Pope Francis returns to Rome after a week of spiritual exercises

Mar 11, 2016

By Elise Harris

After spending a week outside Rome reflecting on key questions in the Gospel during their annual Lenten retreat, Pope Francis... Read more

Pope Francis bowed in prayer in St. Peter's Basilica on September 2, 2015.

Pope's retreat reflects on the Gospel's 'raw' questions

Mar 7, 2016

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis and members of the Curia embarked Sunday on their annual Lenten retreat, which this year centers on the... Read more

Penitential celebration with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica on March 4, 2016.

God did not create us to remain crushed by sin, Pope says

Mar 4, 2016

By Elise Harris

Leading his annual penitential service on Friday, Pope Francis told attendees to stand tall and be open to forgiveness, and... Read more

Friar Roberto.

This 95-year-old priest walked three miles while hearing confessions

Mar 3, 2016

A 95-year-old priest named Friar Roberto walked more than three-and-a-half miles while hearing confessions during a recent “Penitential Walk” in... Read more

Children at Sharia Al Haman Hope Refugee Camp in Duhok, Iraq on March 28, 2015.

This Lent, an opportunity to help Middle East Christians

Feb 10, 2016

A gift of 40 dollars in Lent could help persecuted Christians and other refugees in the Middle East, thanks to... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Ash Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 10, 2016.

Lent is a time of pruning and reconciliation, Pope Francis says

Feb 10, 2016

By Elise Harris

In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his general audience Feb. 10, 2016.

If mercy doesn’t reach your pockets, it’s not real, Pope says

Feb 10, 2016

By Elise Harris

For Pope Francis, mercy isn’t just spiritual, but is something that ought to be expressed in concrete acts of service... Read more

Pope Francis venerates the cross on Good Friday 2015.

Pope calls for concrete acts of mercy this Lent

Jan 26, 2016

By Ann Schneible

In his 2016 Lenten message, Pope Francis called the faithful to place special emphasis on the spiritual and corporal works... Read more

Pope Francis leads procession of palms in St. Peter's Square on Palm Sunday March 29, 2015.

Holy Week is about humility – there is no other way, Pope says

Mar 29, 2015

By Elise Harris

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday said that imitating the humility of Jesus is what makes Holy Week “holy,” and encouraged... Read more

The eleventh Station of the Cross, from the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, Norwood, Ohio.

Italian bishop to offer Good Friday Way of the Cross meditations at Colosseum

Mar 10, 2015

By Andrea Gagliarducci

The bishop who preached the final Lenten spiritual exercises for St. John Paul II has been chosen to prepare meditations... Read more

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Nov. 5, 2014.

The Pope's Lent retreat: Bucking tradition or just being his Jesuit self?

Feb 27, 2015

By Ann Schneible

While Pope Francis has altered the custom of his predecessors by leaving the Vatican for his yearly Lenten retreat, one... Read more

Pope Francis meets with students in Paul VI audience hall on May 31, 2014.

Pope Francis back from Ariccia with new seeds planted

Feb 27, 2015

By Elise Harris

After a weeklong spiritual retreat outside of Rome, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the priest who led the reflections,... Read more