Two Sacramento women wanted to make Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday special for the homeless community.
Sister Libby Fernandez and Rev. Dr. Pamela Anderson rode their bikes through the streets of Downtown Sacramento to hand out coffee, candy, and ashes to the homeless.
“With Sister Libby, we're just trying to bring mercy to the streets," said Pastor Anderson.
Their main mission was to make the homeless feel included, but they also had a lot of people who worked nearby come to them to get their ashes.
One man who received ashes said he prayed to get off the streets, so he could help others who are in his same shoes.
“It's been a really powerful time just coming together with the community," Pastor Anderson said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of parishioners gathered for mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for the first day of Lent.
Today is the first time since 1945 that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday land on the same day.
“It’s kind of a conflict because it's a day of fasting and giving up, and yet there's Valentine's Day. So hopefully people can figure out how to appropriately do that without feeling like you're compromising your values," said Veronica Ortiz Torres.
For Torres, Lent this year means more than giving something up for 40 days.
“It's not about what you give up, it's what you do for others," she explains. "So, I think it's a lot of reflection: How do I make the world a better place? What do I do to make a difference? And really take that to heart."