Ash Wednesday, also known as the “Day of Ashes,” is the first day of the Lenten season. For 40 days and 40 nights, Christians traditionally sacrifice something in the days leading to Easter, the holiest day in Christianity. To celebrate the start of penance, 10 quotes from Pope Francis have been provided, courtesy of Brainy Quote.

1.       "Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy."

2.       "Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him."

3.       "Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”

4.       “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good... Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

5.       “I believe in God - not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.”

6.       “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”

7.       “Wretched are those who are vindictive and spiteful.”

8.       “The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord's mercy motivates us to do better.”

9.       “We must always walk in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, always trying to live in an irreprehensible way.”

10.   “We all have the duty to do good.”

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella