Pope celebrates Ash Wednesday in St. Peter's Basilica
Lent will feature four homilies by Cardinal Cantalamesa on a theme of great importance
Rosario Lira, based on information published on Vatican.news
Today, Wednesday, February 17, marks the beginning of Lent. The Holy See Press Office informed that at 9:30 a.m., Italian time, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass with the Imposition of Ashes on the Altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, with the limited participation of faithful chosen according to the modalities used in recent months, in respect of the protection measures provided for.
Who do they say I am?
The Prefecture of the Papal Household announced that the 2021 Lenten sermons will be given by the Preacher of the Pontifical Household, the recently consecrated cardinal, Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap. The theme is “Who do they say that I am?”, inspired by the question Jesus asks his disciples, which is answered by Simon’s profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Jesus expresses that this answer was revealed to Simon by the Father, and then he gives him the name of Peter, the rock on which Jesus will build his Church, with Peter as its first pope.
A theme that responds to the voices of the times
This theme for Lent is of great importance at a time when divisions are arising in the Church. We observe how some preachers, influential people and institutions, including some Catholic media, almost systematically place one idea above a spirit of unity in the Pope; they take one or two important values that are absolutized, harshly criticizing those who do not adhere to their position, including the Pope himself, accusing him with very strong epithets.
Pope Francis refers to these deviations from the spirit of unity to which Jesus calls us, in the second chapter of the apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World”, where he describes in detail the characteristics of “contemporary gnosticism” and “contemporary pelagianism”.
Dates of the four sermons
The sermons will take place on Fridays during Lent: February 26, February 5, March 12 and 26, at 9:00 a.m., in the presence of the Holy Father, cardinals, bishops, Vatican prelates, employees of the Roman Curia and others.
We believe that it is especially important in these times to listen to these talks and share them with others, since they will invite us to deepen the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, and at the same time motivate us to feel united as a Church, closer to Pope Francis, to his ministry, and therefore to Jesus, who calls us to renew our hearts.