February 14, 2018 ~ St. Peregrine Diocesan Shrine/ Mary Madelynn Cruz. Ash Wednesday is considered a day of cleansing the soul before the Season of Lent begins. Church-goers have their foreheads marked with a cross by the ashes of the palms blessed at last year’s Palm Sunday to symbolize the repentance of sins.

This year it falls on February 14, the same day as Valentine’s day. It is an important day for Catholics as it marks the first day of fasting, repentance, and self-control that is required during Lent. As the priests draw the crosses onto people’s foreheads, they recite and remind the faithful to “Repent and believe in the Gospel”. The ash and the cross represents the biblical verse  “For dust you are and for dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) reminding us of our origin and our end, calling us to humility, conversion and repentance.