The History and Preparation for Lent.
From the earliest times, Christians have walked the steps of our Lord on His way of the cross, the Via Dolorsa, the way of sorrows. According to the Liber Pontificals, a history of the popes beginning with St. Peter up to the 15th century, a work probably beginning with St. Jerome, credits Pope Telephorus (125-136 A.D.) with establishing the season of Lent.
We know that Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33 A.D., from that time on, the death of the Lord would always be identified with the “8th Day”, the Resurrection from the dead. You can see this depicted at the Vatican where you see the 8 blocks surrounding the obelisk at Vatican City. The early Popes utilized Easter to celebrate the Last Supper for the purpose of tying the “Breaking of the Bread” (the Mass) with the passion and death of Jesus. From tradition, the Mass has always been seen as a sacrifice. The Sacrifice of the Mass, Jesus is not being “re-crucified” as some people accuse, but that the command of the Lord, “Do this in memory of me” would be faithfully handed down.
St. Telephorus for example, followed what his predecessor, Pope Sixtus (115-125) observed celebrating the Last Supper on Easter Day as opposed to the traditional Jewish Passover Day, the 14th of Nissan. This would become known to Christians as “Good Friday” (3 April 33 A.D.).