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Catholics mark Ash Wednesday tomorrow

By Sam Eyoboka
CATHOLICS in Nigeria will tomorrow join their counterparts worldwide to mark this year’s Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Season of Lent.

This handout picture released on March 4, 2013 by the Vatican press office shows Cardinals Angelo Sodano (C) and cardinal chamberlain Tarcisio Bertone (R) opening talks ahead of a conclave to elect a new pope after Benedict XVI’s resignation, as an absent British cardinal admitted to sexual misconduct with priests. The Vatican meetings will set the date for the start of the conclave this month and help identify candidates among the cardinals to be the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO/HO RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

According to a release by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Msgr. Gabriel Osu, the Lenten season is a period of 40 days during which Christians are encouraged to intensify prayers, abstinence, fasting and alms giving.

In Catholic churches all over the world, “the faithful are expected to receive ash on their foreheads as a sign of repentance and a reminder that we all came from ash and will someday return to ash. Here in the Archdiocese of Lagos, the faithful would be led into the Lenten season by the Archbishop of Lagos, His Grace, Alfred Adewale Martins at the Holy Cross Cathedral.”

On the essence of the season, Msgr. Osu explained: “At this period of lent, we are all expected to draw nearer God by constant prayer, forsaken sin and being at peace with our fellow men.

“It is a season of renewal of our faith in our creator by renouncing all fleshy desires that tend to weigh us down and purifying our spirit for the greater glory of God.

“But it should not just end at this lent season. Our prayer is that the fruit of the season would continue to germinate and bear more fruit in our daily lives,” he appealed.


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