What happened to President Biden's forehead as 'bruise' rumours emerge

Amber Peake March 3, 2022
What happened to President Biden's forehead as 'bruise' rumours emerge
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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On Ash Wednesday, US president Joe Biden was seen sporting a dark smudge on his forehead, leaving some people to wonder what happened to Biden’s forehead.

In celebration of the first day of Lent on Wednesday (2 March), president Joe Biden received his ashes before discussing what he would be giving up during the holiday.

Some are now curious to know more about the meaning behind the marking on the president’s forehead. We take a look at the Ash Wednesday tradition and what it means.

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What happened to Biden’s forehead?

During his presidential duties on Ash Wednesday, president Joe Biden was seen with a smudge on his forehead.

No, the marking was not a bruise it was actually in honour of Christian holy day Ash Wednesday, and it is received by worshippers attending services on the day.

America Magazine reports Biden received his ashes from Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, having met with him that morning.

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What do the ashes mean?

The ashes received by worshippers on Ash Wednesday are said to represent “how the human body turns to dust after death”, according to the Bournemouth Echo.

They are typically placed on the forehead in the form of a cross. The ashes normally consist of cinders from palm leaves used in the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

As explained by The Columbus Dispatch, the ashes not only display the recipient’s faith but also mourning for their sins.

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It’s not the first time Biden has observed the tradition

Following his inauguration in January 2021, Joe Biden celebrated his first Ash Wednesday as president in February last year.

At the time, the president received his ashes from the Reverend Brian O McDermott at Georgetown University’s Wolfington Hall.

During his time as vice-president, Biden also observed the Ash Wednesday tradition.

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Amber is a freelance writer on The Focus who mainly covers anything celeb, music, and entertainment related. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Brunel University in 2020, she has spent the last two years reporting the latest celeb news and pop culture trends across leading and national publishers. Starting her career at Express.co.uk as a showbiz reporter, Amber began contributing on The Focus in 2021. As well as her work on the site, she has also written across other GRV Media publications, including both Reality Titbit and HITC. When she's not scrolling endlessly on TikTok, you'll find Amber wrapped up in yet another DIY crafting project.