Pope Francis will preside over a penitential service at the Vatican on Friday, in anticipation of the '24 Hours for the Lord' initiative.
The service will take place on Friday 17 March, one week before all churches around the world are asked to offer the sacrament of Reconciliation, a request made by the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of the New Evangelization.
The theme of the initiative this year comes from the Gospel according to Saint Matthew: 'I desire Mercy' (Mt 9:13).
On Friday 24 March, the churches of Santa Maria in Trastevere and Le Stimmate di San Francesco will remain open from 8pm for Confession and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. On Saturday, 25 March, a service of thanksgiving will take place at 5pm in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia. Monsignor Rino Fisichella, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of the New Evangelization, will preside over First Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
People around the world can show their support for the initiative by using the #24hoursfortheLord hashtag.