Christians Observe the Beginning of Lent

pope-lent-HEAD-smChristians around the world this week began observing Lent, the season of fasting and penitence that leads to Easter. At the Vatican, Pope Francis led traditional Ash Wednesday services, sprinkling ashes on parishioners’ heads as a symbol of human mortality. This was Francis’s first Ash Wednesday as pope. Next week marks one year since his election. He’ll be spending his anniversary on a week-long Lenten retreat south of Rome.