Lent 2012 offers observant Catholics and other Christians a unique opportunity to honor the sacrifices of Jesus Christ by first honoring his mother, Mary.
Because of a quirky series of calender coincidences, Christians can use this year's Lent to also follow in the footsteps of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. He was a French priest known for his deep commitment to Mary, and came up with a series of short prayers and spiritual practices to honor her called the Total Consecration.
This year, the Catholic calendar lines up so that both Lent and the Total Consecration start on the same day. The next time that happens will be 2075, Father Ryan Wayne Erlenbush told The Times.
"It's a unique opportunity to do both," said Erlenbush, a Catholic priest within the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Mont., who also blogs in his spare time at The New Theological Movement. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it our best Lent ever."