President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump issued a presidential message on Wednesday, February 26, acknowledging Ash Wednesday and offering prayers for everyone observing Lent.
The Trumps said in the message that they wished “everyone observing Ash Wednesday a peaceful and prayerful day.”
Ash Wednesday marks the start of the liturgical season of Lent, during which Catholics observe a time of repentance and preparation for Easter through the practice of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
“Today, millions of Christians will be marked on their foreheads with the sign of the cross. The imposition of ashes is an invitation to spend time during Lent fasting, praying, and engaging in acts of charity,” said the statement from the Trumps.
“This powerful and sacred tradition reminds us of our shared mortality, Christ’s saving love, and the need to repent and accept the Gospel more fully,” they said.
The president and first lady offered prayers for everyone who is observing Ash Wednesday, and said they wished everyone a “prayerful Lenten journey.”
“May you grow closer to God in your faith during this blessed season,” said the message.
This is the first time the Trumps have issued a message concerning Ash Wednesday. The last presidential message on Ash Wednesday was released in 2016 by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
In addition to prayers for those observing Lent, the Obamas extended prayers to “all those who suffer, including those Christians who are subjected to unspeakable violence and persecution for their faith.”
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