January 22, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI celebrated Ash Wednesday in the Basilica of Santa Sabina, located on the Aventine Hill of Rome. He received the cross of ashes from Cardinal Josef Tomko of Slovakia
who is the cardinal “Titular” of this church.
During the ceremony, the pope spoke about the importance of the ashes.Benedict XVI“The ash is one of the material signs that bring the cosmos within the Liturgy.”
Ash Wednesday also served as an opportunity to remind everyone of their human mortality
, saying that we are created with the earth and is eventually where we return. Benedict XVI“The dust of the earth doesn't remember the creative act of God, the complete opening of life, but it becomes a sign of an inexorable destiny of death: 'You are dust and to dust you shall return.'”
Journeying up the Aventine Hill represents the struggle Catholics make to be Holy. The tradition was revived in 1979 by John Paul II
, following in the footsteps of their predecessor to the See of Peter.