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John Madigan of Toledo receives ashes at St. Francis de Sales Church from member Joann Zimmel during Ash Wednesday services. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day season of refl ection and repentance during which Christians seek to fast and sacrifi ce as they follow the example of Jesus when he spent 40 days in the wilderness. Clerics administer ashes on adherents foreheads as a symbol of their penitence. This year, Easter falls on March 27.