Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2024

Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2024 has the theme, "Through the desert God leads us to freedom." Lent 2024 begins on February 14, Ash Wednesday, and ends on March 28, Maundy Thursday.

The Holy Father's Message is inspired by the passage from the Book of Exodus, "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." (Ex 20:1-17)

The Lenten exodus helps us to free ourselves from slavery. God sustains our hope-through an ecclesial, communitarian, and personal journey of conversion - to lead us to the land He wants to give us.

Message for Lent 2024

In his Message , Pope Francis recalls that Lent "is a season of conversion, a time of freedom" because "God does not want subjects, but sons and daughters" and, citing the Book of Exodus, he emphasizes that the Word of God addresses each one of us personally today: "I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery".  

Along these lines, the Holy Father emphasizes that "it is time to act, and in Lent to act also means to pause. To pause in prayer,

in order to receive the word of God, to pause like the Samaritan in the presence of a wounded brother or sister" because "love of God and love of neighbor are one love".


The invitation consists, then, of "to pause in the presence of God beside the flesh of our neighbor.  For this reason, prayer, almsgiving, and fasting are not three unrelated acts, but a single movement of openness and self-emptying, and he adds that "to the extent that this Lent becomes a time of conversion, an anxious humanity will notice a burst of creativity, a flash of new hope".

Referring to the synodal journey in the Church, Pope Francis suggests that Lent is also "a time of communitarian decisions, of decisions, small and large, that are countercurrent," that change people's daily lives, such as, "the ways we acquire goods, care for creation, and strive to include those who go unseen or are looked down upon."

"I invite every Christian community to do just this: to offer its members moments set aside to rethink their lifestyles" to evaluate and improve their contribution to society, the Pope writes.  

Finally, the Holy Father launches an invitation to live the "courage of conversion" with an appeal he addressed to young people during WYD in Lisbon: "Keep seeking and be ready to take risks.  At this moment in time, we face enormous risks; we hear the painful plea of so many people.  Indeed, we are experiencing a third world war fought piecemeal.  Yet let us find the courage to see our world, not as being in its death throes but in a process of giving birth, not at the end but at the beginning of a great new chapter of history.  We need courage to think like this."

“Such is the courage of conversion, born of coming up from slavery.  For faith and charity take hope, this small child, by the hand”, he concludes.

Presentation of the Message

The presentation of the Message for Lent 2024 was attended by the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Michael Czerny; the head of the Office for Catechesis of the Diocese of Rome, Fr Andrea Cavallini; the professor at the Gregorian University, Emilia Palladino and the artist, Mauro Pallotta, known as "Maupal", who has been entrusted by the Dicastery to illustrate graphically the Pope's Message for Lent.  




01 February 2024