Today is the day that Christians especially Catholics across the world go to church to have their foreheads anointed with ash.

It is called Ash Wednesday and ushers in the Lenten period, a time in the church’s liturgical calendar when members fast, pray and commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary about 2000 years ago.

Catholic churches in Nigeria will hold several holy masses to mark the holy day.

During one of the mass in Lagos, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos Most Rev. Adewale Martins, urged Christians to emulate the life of Jesus Christ, saying Jesus was an example of purity, sacrifice and selfless service to humanity.

Martins said this on Wednesday while administering ashes on the forehead of the faithful at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.

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Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday, and is chiefly observed by Catholics, although many other Christians observe it too.

Martins urged Christians to use the Lenten season to intensify prayers, abstain from sin, fast and give alms.

“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,” he said.

According to Martins, “At this period of lent, we are all expected to draw nearer God by constant prayer, forsaking sin and being at peace with our fellow men.

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

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