By Christina I. Hermoso
As Roman Catholics start the observance of the 40-day season of Lent, a Church leader called on the faithful to “fill Lent with love.”
“Let us move from cheap love to true love. Let us fill Lent with love. Let us fill Valentine’s Day with the Lenten spirit,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.
For the first time in 73 years, Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine’s Day yesterday. Ash Wednesday is an obligatory day of prayer, charity, fasting, and abstinence for Catholics.
Thousands of Catholics from across the country lined up early in their parishes to attend the Holy Mass and to have their foreheads marked with a cross.
Villegas stressed that love and sacrifice go hand-in-hand. “Love is best expressed by sacrifice. Love is best shown by suffering with your loved one or suffering instead of your loved one,” the Church leader said.