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Pope Benedict XVI leads the mass for Ash Wednesday opening Lent the... News Photo 161623821Ash Wednesday,Easter,Holy Week,Horizontal,International Landmark,Just Say No,Lead,Lent,Loss,Mass,Opening Event,Period,Pope,Pope Benedict XVI,Religion,Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI,St. Peter's Basilica,State of the Vatican City,VaticanPhotographer AFPCollection: AFP 2013 AFPPope Benedict XVI (C) leads the mass for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the forty-day period of abstinence and deprivation for the Christians, before the Holy Week and Easter, on February 13, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance on Wednesday since his shock resignation announcement, asking thousands of cheering pilgrims at the Vatican to 'keep praying for me'. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS,GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)