Catholics all over the world would today mark the 2016 Ash Wednesday, signalling the beginning of the 40-day season of Lent.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Gabriel Osu.
In the statement, Osu said: “In Catholic churches all over the world, the faithful are expected to receive ash on their foreheads today as a sign of repentance.
“During the Lenten season, Christians are encouraged to intensify prayers, observe abstinence, fasting and alms giving.
“They are expected to draw nearer God through constant prayers, forsaking their sins and being at peace with fellow men.
“It is also serves as a reminder that we all came from ash and would 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, Adewale Martins at the Holy Cross Cathedral.’’
The director of communications added that the Lenten observance should not just end during the season, but “continue for the fruit to germinate and bear more fruits in our daily lives.’’
Osu enjoined all Nigerians to also use the period to pray for lasting peace and development in Nigeria.
Also, a website, www.christianity.about.com says “Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter.
“Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
“The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ, his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection,’’ the website said.