Rome, Italy - February 26, 2020 - On February 26, Pope Francis opened Lent with the penitential procession and the ritual of the imposition of the Ashes at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill. Addressing the faithful, the Pontiff said among other things “Lent is not the time to pour out unnecessary moralisms on people, but to recognize that our poor ashes are loved by God. It is a time of grace, to welcome the gaze of love of God upon us and, so looked at, change your life. We are in the world to walk from ash to life. So, let's not pulverize hope, let's not incinerate the dream that God has on us. Let us not give in to resignation.” During the rite, the Holy Father received the ashes on the head from the hands of Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular owner of the Basilica of Santa Sabina, then in turn imposed them on those present, after having sprinkled them with blessed water.