Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday mass
Pope Francis on Ash Wednesday sent a message of peace to the devout in Saint Peter's Square
For Lent the Pope took part in a tradition that goes all the way back to the early centuries of the church.
On the afternoon of Ash Wednesday, he led a penitential procession form the Basilica of San Anselmo to the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome.
After a prayer in San Anselmo, the procession began, accompanied by singing of the 'Litany of Saints' invoking assistance of all the martyrs and saints for the 40 days ahead.
The pope celebrated mass in Santa Sabina, marking the beginning of Lent.