Catholics in Philippines mark start of Lent on Ash Wednesday

Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:28pm EST
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MANILA - Catholics wait in line at the Baclaran Church in  Manila to have their foreheads marked with ashes in the sign of a cross and attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of season of Lent.

The ashes, a symbol of penance and contrition for Catholics, are made from the burnt palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebrations the week before Easter.

About 80 percent of people in the Philippines are Catholic. The nation has more Catholics than any other country in Asia and the third highest Catholic population in the world after Brazil, and Mexico, according to the Pew Research Center.