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20,000 form human cross for Ash Wednesday

(CBS/AP) More than 20,000 Catholics marked the beginning of Lent, known as Ash Wednesday, by making an attempt at a world record - forming the world's largest human cross.

The cross stretched across a football field in Manila, Philippines, at the country's oldest college - the 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas.

Students, faculty members and university personnel wore black t-shirts or white school uniforms while prayers were recited and songs sung.

The 40-day Lenten period is a time of fasting, abstinence, reflection and repentance for Christians and is widely recognized by Filipinos.

Around 80 percent of the country's population - 95 million - are Catholic.

An auditing of the event will be submitted to Guinness World Records for adjudication.

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