Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.
“Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: ‘A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,'” the pope said on 14th February, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent.
After a brief prayer at the Benedictine’s Monastery of St Anselm, Pope Francis made the traditional Ash Wednesday procession to the Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina on Rome’s Aventine Hill for the Mass.
He received ashes on his head from 93-year-old Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and he distributed ashes to the cardinals present, three Benedictines, three Dominicans, an Italian couple with two children and members of the Pontifical Academy for Martyrs, which promotes the traditional Lenten “station church” pilgrimage in Rome.
Picture: Pope Francis elevates the Eucharist during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome on 14th February. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)