February 22, 2012. (Romererports.com)
Since Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the Pope talked about
the significance of this 40 day period. During the general audience the
Pope began by explaining why it lasts exactly 40 days.
Benedict XVI“In the Bible, the number forty is rich in symbolism. It recalls Israel's journey in the desert, a time of expectation, purification and closeness to the Lord, but also a time of temptation and testing.”
The Pope then talked about the time when Jesus was tempted by the devil. He says this encounter helps people “face challenges with courage and patience, while trusting God.”Benedict XVI“In these forty days, may we draw nearer to the Lord by meditating on his word and example, and conquer the desert of our spiritual aridity, selfishness and materialism.”
More than 6,000 pilgrims were gathered at the Vatican's Paul VI hall. Among them, was a group of 100 people from England and Wales. The group of former Anglicans was among the first to join the Catholic Church under the so called Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham established on January 2011.