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The History of the Lenten Season
Lent is a word that comes from the Middle English
word "lente" which means "springtime" - so named for the season of the
year in which it usually occurs. While the practice of Lent is not
mentioned in the Bible, it has been a tradition in the Christian world
since the mid 4th century. It seems to parallel the 40 days of fasting
in the wilderness that Jesus experienced following his baptism.
Historically, Lenten fasting became mandatory, especially abstinence
from eating meat. While recommended by St. Athanasius, bishop of
Alexandria in 330 AD, by the Middle Ages Lent was enforced throughout
Europe, especially the forbidding of meat during the final weeks before
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