AmericanCatholic.org
 
Skip Navigation Links
Home
Catholic News
Saints
Seasonal
Special Reports
Movies
Shopping
Donate
Share:
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
LinkedIn
Email
RSS Feeds

advertisement
Daily Catholic Question

Why do we receive ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Christians seem to have taken the use of ashes as a sign of penance from Jewish tradition. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, ashes were originally signs of private penance. But early on they became part of the ritual for public penance.

Pope Urban II (1088-1099) recommended the custom of all receiving ashes to all the churches. Ashes were put on the heads of men and the sign of the cross traced with ashes on the foreheads of women, presumably because their heads were covered.

In the 11th century there appeared a special prayer for the blessing of ashes. And the 12th century gave rise to the rule that the ashes used on Ash Wednesday are to be made from the palm branches of the previous year.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Friday, February 7, 2014
Daily Catholic Question for 2/6/2014 Daily Catholic Question for 2/8/2014


Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Confession is one of the greatest gifts Christ gave to His Church. The sacrament of penance offers you grace that is incomparable in your quest for sanctity.

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
New from Richard Rohr
Daily inspiration from one of the most influential spiritual teachers in the world.
Do You Know the North American Martyrs?

Be inspired by stories of the North American martyrs, whose courage and commitment changed the world.

Get Practical Help From Dr. Ray!

Anger doesn't have to erupt without warning. Most of the time, managing anger is well within our control.

Finding God in the Depths of Silence
New audio presentation! Explore finding God in the depths of silence with Richard Rohr.
New from Fr. Al McBride!
Learn how to find the real highway to freedom using the road map of Christ's two laws and the Ten Commandments.

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
National Marriage Week
During this week especially tell each other how much your marriage means to you.
St. Valentine's Day
Schedule one or more e-cards today to be delivered next Friday.
Love
Let someone know you’re thinking of him or her today with a “Just Because” e-card from Catholic Greetings.
Winter
Say farewell to the “polar vortex” of 2014 with a snowy, winter scene e-card.
Happy Birthday
May God grant you good health, good cheer and all good things today and all the days of the coming year.



Come find us at: Facebook | St. Anthony Messenger magazine Twitter | American Catholic YouTube | American Catholic