LentMarch 1 to April 13
During Lent 2017, Pope Francis asks us to ponder more deeply the Word of God, and in particular, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31). Lent begins March 1 for Latin-rite Catholics.
"Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ's victory over death." Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2017
In a particular way during Lent, we are asked to devote ourselves to the spiritual and corporal works of mercy that "remind us that faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbors in body and spirit."
In Lent, the baptized are called to renew their baptismal commitment as others prepare to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initian of Adults, a period of learning and discernment for individuals who have declared their desire to become Catholics.
The key to fruitful observance of these practices is to recognize their link to baptismal renewal. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ. We recall those waters in which we were baptized into Christ's death, died to sin and evil, and began new life in Christ.
Information about Fasting and Abstinence
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.