Ash Wednesday

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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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

Archbishop Leo Cushley distributes ashes during an Ash Wednesday service in a Scottish Parliament building.

First Ash Wednesday service held in Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament hosted a Blessing and Distribution of Ashes for the first time this year, with Archbishop Leo Cushley... Read more

Where do Ash Wednesday ashes come from?

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


Science – not sabotage – behind Filipino 'Rash Wednesday' mystery

After some Filipino Catholics developed mysterious rashes on Ash Wednesday, the Diocese of Caloocan investigated to determine the cause of... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday at the Church of Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino on February 14, 2018.

Pope on Ash Wednesday: Lent is the perfect time to 'come home'

At Mass for Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis invited everyone to live the 40 days of Lent as a time to... Read more

Ash Wednesday trumps Valentine's, Chicago archdiocese says

This year, Ash Wednesday—which begins the penitential season of Lent with a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer—falls on Feb. 14,... 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

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

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

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

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

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

Ash Wednesday.

Would you die for your ashes? Cardinal reflects on modern Christian martyrs

Catholics owe solidarity, prayer and a voice against injustice to their fellow Christians being martyred and persecuted around the world,... Read more