Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pope Francis Leads Catholics on 1st Day of Lent; Urges Them Not to Be Obsessed with Possessions

Pope Francis --leading the world's Roman Catholics into the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday -- urged them not to be obsessed with possessions and to shun a culture where everything can be bought and sold, the Reuters website reports today (March 5, 2014).

Ash Wednesday is the day Christians are reminded of mortality and hear the phrase "from dust you came and to dust you shall return" as ashes are smudged onto their foreheads.

Francis led a traditional procession between two churches on the streets of Rome's Aventine Hill to begin the pre-Easter season of Lent, when Christians are called on to fast, pray, and give alms to the needy.

In the second church, a cardinal smudged ashes onto the pope's forehead, and then the pontiff -- wearing purple vestments -- did the same to cardinals accompanying him.

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