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Pope Francis arrives for the week-long Lenten retreat  (CNS) Below: The Pope's anniversary tweet

Pope tweets message asking Catholics to pray for him

An alligator swims in  everglades waters in Florida (PA) Below: The Catholic Herald cartoon (Christian Adams)

Archbishop Gregory Aymond said that alligators should be “considered seafood”

Pope Francis receives ashes from Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome (CNS)

Pontiff spoke at Ash Wednesday Mass in Rome

Pope Francis (CNS)

The retreat will take place at Pauline Fathers’ retreat and conference centre in Ariccia

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope tells faithful to “courageously follow Jesus in seeking out the poor”

A blind boy stands outside a makeshift shelter in Islamabad (Photo: CNS)

Vatican officials will also draw attention to Haiti

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday Photo: Press Association

Benedict XVI says Catholics must endure spiritual battle during his Sunday address

Warm double chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and raspberries on top (Photo: PA)

Or is that a distraction from the real task of preparing for Holy Week and Easter?

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: unlikely to be giving up laughter for Lent (Photo: CNS)

It’s time for one last chocolate biscuit

We asked prominent Christians what they are giving up for Lent. Their answers range from blogs to fruit juice and moreish digestives

Priests hear Confessions at World Youth Day in Madrid (CNS photo)

Diocese sees rise in Confessions

The number of people attending Confession in the Diocese of Lancaster has increased following a Lenten initiative