The earliest possible date for Ash Wednesday (extremely rare) is February 4. But it’s quite common to begin Lent by mid-late February. These guys, right up the street from the rectory, seem to sprout up just in time for the beginning of Lent each year, but this time, they’re waaaaay toooo early. Ash Wednesday 2019 isn’t until March 6. But it’s good to see that nature is always at the ready to honor the Immaculate Conception. No one has ever done up a better preparation for Easter than the Immaculate Conception. She knew what had to come first with her Son making all things new, what would have to happen during what we now call the Sacred Triduum lasting from the Last Supper until the Easter Vigil. She carried that. So, for you, dearest Mary, from your Son, Creator of all things, visible and invisible.