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Pope Francis to Preside Over Penitential Celebration Tonight

Confessors Will Join Pontiff in Administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation in St. Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis has insisted on various occasions during his pontificate on the importance of the Sacrament of Confession. Tonight, March 17, 2017, he is set to preside over a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica.

In recent years, the Pope has presided over the celebration, even leaving one of the most touching images of his papacy. Before making his way to the area where he would hear confessions, the Holy Father approached a confessional, kneeled and confessed.

During tonight’s celebration, the 80-year-old Pontiff will once again hear confessions in St. Peter’s.

The penitential celebration will kick off, as it has in recent years, the initiative by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization entitled “24 Hours For the Lord.”

The theme of the initiative this year will be “I desire mercy” (Matthew 9:13), and will take place, in many dioceses around the world on March 24-25, 2017, on the eve of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday.


On the NET:

To Watch Live (5 p.m. Rome, local time):

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': or

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