Why Does Lent Last Forty Days?

Q. Why does Lent last forty days?

A. The Lenten season includes forty days of penance because it recalls the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying, preparing for His public ministry, and the Devil’s attempt to tempt Him there (Luke 4:1–13). Our forty days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving join our hearts more closely to Our Lord’s heart and strengthen us against the Enemy’s temptations as we seek to serve God.

The number forty has great significance in Scripture and in the history of our salvation. The flood in the time of Noah was associated with forty days and nights of rain (Genesis 7:12). Noah sent out a raven forty days after the ark came to rest (Genesis 8:6).