Catholics flocked to their local churches in observance of Ash Wednesday as they receive the sign of the cross in ash upon their foreheads which signifies the start of lent.

During morning mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church Rev. Pete Elizardo discussed the meaning of Ash Wednesday and how the church should follow in Jesus Christ's path. He also told the congregation to remember the innocence that dwells inside them and how they must take care of their soul.

Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting for Catholics around the world.

Lent is an observance in the liturgical year of many denominations of Christians, which last for about six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. Lent originated as a mirroring of Jesus Christ's 40 days in the desert when Satan tempted him.

The event continues through Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which remembers the events of Passion of Christ, Good Friday and culminates into Easter Sunday. During Lent, many of the faithful fast or give up luxuries as a form of penitence.

With a vertical swipe and a horizontal swipe a cross of ashes marked the foreheads of worshipers. The use of ashes is a sign of mortality and repentance. The use of ashes is a sign of mortality and repentance.

Churches around the area and the nation celebrated with masses throughout the day.