Ash Wednesday

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The second floor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in San José del Monte in the Philippines collapsed during Ash Wednesday Mass on Feb. 14, 2024.

Church floor in Philippines collapses on Ash Wednesday, killing 1 and injuring dozens

Feb 15, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva

Witnesses reportedly heard a loud noise and then screams from the people who fell from the balcony and from some... Read more

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

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

Feb 14, 2024

By Courtney Mares

The Lord is inviting us to “remove the masks we so often wear” and to see ourselves as we truly... Read more

Ashes at Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino in Rome.

10 important things to know about Ash Wednesday

Feb 14, 2024

By Diego López Marina

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which is structured to spiritually prepare to walk with the Lord through his... Read more

Ash Wednesday Mass at Westminster Cathedral in London, England, on March 1, 2017.

Ash Wednesday: Leave the ashes on or wash them off?

Feb 14, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva

“There is no minimum time” established to wear the ashes on the forehead or head, and they can serve as... Read more


5 ways to observe St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday

Feb 13, 2024

By Andrés Henríquez

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


How to honor Valentine’s Day on Ash Wednesday 

Feb 11, 2024

By Kate Quiñones

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. But the two days don’t need to be completely at odds with... Read more

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

Pope Francis to preside at Ash Wednesday Mass and traditional procession in Rome

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

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

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Free yourself ‘from the dictatorship of full schedules’ 

Feb 22, 2023

By Hannah Brockhaus

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


Where do Ash Wednesday ashes come from?

Feb 21, 2023

By Mary Farrow

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Read more

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

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Lent is about eternal rewards, not appearances

Mar 2, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

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

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

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Lent is a time for conversion and interior renewal

Mar 2, 2022

By Courtney Mares

The pope was speaking at his Wednesday general audience. Read more

Pope Francis’ general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Feb. 23, 2022.

Pope Francis cancels Ash Wednesday Mass, trip to Florence due to knee pain

Feb 25, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Holy See press office said the pope was suffering from ‘acute gonalgia.’ Read more

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

Pope Francis’ Lenten message: Addiction to digital media can hurt human relationships

Feb 24, 2022

By Courtney Mares

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

Pope Francis says Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 17, 2021. Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Lent is a journey from slavery to freedom

Feb 17, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

The 40 days of Lent are an opportunity to turn from the slavery of sin to the freedom found in... Read more

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday 2021: Vatican offers guidance on ash distribution amid COVID-19 pandemic

Jan 12, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Vatican gave guidance Tuesday about how priests can distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

A priest signs the forehead of a child as catholics take part in the Ash Wednesday celebration at the St. Patrick cathedral in Maiduguri on February 26, 2020.

Wear black to protest anti-Christian violence, Nigerian Catholics told

Feb 26, 2020

The bishops of Nigeria told the nation’s Catholics to wear black on Ash Wednesday to protest the ongoing persecution of... Read more

Penitential procession towards the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Aventino for Ash Wednesday.

Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday: Confession purifies hearts

Feb 26, 2020

By Courtney Mares

Before going to confession, Pope Francis recommended, people should stand in front of the Crucifix and contemplate Christ on the... Read more

President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at the Elysee Palace, Paris.

'Repent and accept the Gospel' Trumps say in Ash Wednesday statement

Feb 26, 2020

“This powerful and sacred tradition reminds us of our shared mortality, Christ’s saving love, and the need to repent and... Read more

Utah school apologizes after student forced to remove Lenten ashes

Mar 9, 2019

A school district in Utah has issued an apology after a fourth-grade student was told by a teacher that he... Read more

Fr Bill Carloni (left) and Fr. Pat Conroy, SJ, at the distribution of ashes on Capitol Hill, 2019.

Ash Wednesday liturgies held on Capitol Hill

Mar 6, 2019

By Christine Rousselle

Catholic members of Congress participated in the tradition Lenten practice of receiving ashes at the Capitol Wednesday. During the liturgy,... Read more