Catholics participate in Ash Wednesday ritual; marking the begin - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Catholics participate in Ash Wednesday ritual; marking the beginning of Lent

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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the holiest period for Christians.

Many attended mass at Saint Joe's Catholic Church in Huntington. Worshippers lined up for the traditional Ash Wednesday ritual. It marks the beginning of Lent leading up to Easter with a period of fasting, prayer and repentance.

The priest delivered a special message to those in attendance. "We call ourselves to penance. Recognizing we've sinned and we need grace," said Fr. Dean Borgmeyer, St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Thousands of people also turned out at the Vatican on Wednesday as Pope Benedict XVI made one of his last public appearances as Pope before he resigns at the end of February for health reasons.