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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis' message for Lent: “Lenten season is part of the synodal journey”

February 22 marks the beginning of the Lenten season. In preparation, Pope Francis released his message and theme for the 40 days: "Lenten Penance, Synodal Journey." 

In his message, the Pope reflects on the mountain of Jesus' Transformation to bring together the two parts of his message. He says that during Lent the Church is called to “climb a high mountain,” but not alone. The Lenten season is part of the Church's synodal journey.

Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

The message, using this beautiful image of Mount Tabor and the long climb and the importance of the patience and effort and so forth, the Holy Father applies that to the Synodal Process so we won't have this attitude, “well if the Church is supposed to be synodal, then it must be totally synodal already.”

Pope Francis' message offers two paths this Lent. First is to listen to Christ through Scripture but also to listen to one another in challenges and hardships. 

President, Aid to the Church in Need Italy

The path we see is one of closeness, solidarity, brotherhood and sharing. And it is no accident that Jesus did not climb the mountain alone but went up with his brothers: Peter, John and James.

The second path is not to hide behind a piety of extraordinary religious events and avoid facing the challenges of reality. The Pope says Christians must rise to the demands of everyday life with the grace of God.

Each week, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will share the seven steps of climbing up the Lenten mountain together as a Church.