ASH WEDNESDAY. Fr. Miguel Parulan, the chaplain of the Saint Anthony's College (SAC) in San Jose de Buenavista, prepares to burn the old palm leaves for Ash Wednesday on Tuesday (March 1, 2022). Fr. Parulan on Thursday (March 3) said they held a special petition for peace in Ukraine during the Ash Wednesday masses. (Photo courtesy of Jay Tondares)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Catholics here in Antique have joined the world in a prayer for peace in Ukraine during the Ash Wednesday mass.

Saint Anthony’s College (SAC) chaplain, Fr. Miguel Parulan, in an interview Thursday, said Catholic priests and the pious people held a special petition for peace in war-torn Ukraine in response to the appeal of Pope Francis as relayed to them by Antique Bishop Marvyn Maceda.

“Pope Francis had an appeal for us to make Ash Wednesday a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine,” he said.

The celebration of Ash Wednesday was a reminder for people that they come from ashes and unto ashes, they shall return.

“We remind the people to remain humble regardless of whatever they have right now or whatever field they are in because everyone will return to ashes in the future,” said the chaplain.

By humbling down and knowing that they will also return unto ashes that the people become more generous, understanding, and helpful to others, Parulan said.

He said for this year’s Ash Wednesday, ashes were sprinkled on the crown of the head of the pious people who attended the mass, instead of marking the forehead, as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The ashes were from palm leaves burned in a ceremony held on March 1 dubbed Fat Tuesday.

It was called Fat Tuesday because priests and people alike can eat in preparation for the fasting during Ash Wednesday, Parulan added.

People attended the Ash Wednesday mass as Antique is under Alert Level 2. (PNA)