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"On this day, marked by the austere symbol of ashes, we enter the season of Lent and begin a spiritual journey that prepares us for celebrating worthily the Easter Mysteries. The blessed ashes that are upon our forehead are a sign that reminds us of our condition as creatures, that invites us to repent, to follow our Lord ever more closely. We undertake this journey that we might arrive at Easter renewed and able to say with St Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20)."

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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