Published on 13 February 2023

Lent in the Basilica of St Anthony

The 6:00pm Holy Mass with the Imposition of the Ashes will be celebrated on Wednesday 22 February. This Mass will be streamed live.

Lent begins on Wednesday 22 February. This is a time of conversion and penitence in preparation for Easter.

Pope Francis has addressed the following message to all Christians on the occasion of the 2023 Lenten season:

Lenten penance is a commitment, sustained by grace, to overcoming our lack of faith and our resistance to following Jesus on the way of the cross. This is precisely what Peter and the other disciples needed to do. To deepen our knowledge of the Master, to fully understand and embrace the mystery of his salvation, accomplished in total self-giving inspired by love, we must allow ourselves to be taken aside by him and to detach ourselves from mediocrity and vanity. We need to set out on the journey, an uphill path that, like a mountain trek, requires effort, sacrifice and concentration. 

St Anthony himself, during his Lenten preaching of 1231, had underscored the importance of almsgiving and solidarity: “Mercy means ‘that which waters a poor heart.’ Human beings water orchards in order to grow fruit. Why don’t you also water the heart of the poor man with charity, which is also called ‘God’s water,’ so that you may reap the fruit of eternal life. May the poor be your heaven: lay your treasure in them so that your heart may always be with them: and especially during this holy Lenten season. (St Anthony, Ash Wednesday Sermon, 6)

All the celebrations of Wednesday 22 February in the Basilica of St Anthony will include the rite of the imposition of the ashes (click here for the timetable). In particular, the 6:00pm Holy Mass, presided over by Fr. Andrea Massarin, Vicar of the Basilica, will be streamed live on this page.