Thousands of pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

Lester Mason
April 16, 2019

Pope Francis warned against being judgmental and too full of oneself, including authorities in the Catholic Church, in his Palm Sunday homily during Mass in St. Peter's Square, which was crowded with tens of thousands of pilgrims, tourists, and Romans.

A few churches led processions with palm leaves followed by special mass. Oswald Cardinal Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, called upon Catholics to alleviate suffering and injustice. "On Palm Sunday, palms are blessed and distributed in remembrance of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem", said Fr Nigel Barrett, spokesman for the archdiocese of Bombay.

Holy Week begins this morning with the observance of Palm Sunday, when Christians carry palm branches to recall the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before his crucifixion.

"Joyful acclamations at Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem, followed by his humiliation. This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year", the Pope said.

Palm Sunday ushers in Holy Week, which includes the Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum to commemorate Jesus' death by crucifixion.

The Church itself had to resist triumphalism and spiritual worldliness, he added, calling them "the most treacherous temptation threatening the Church".

After the blessing, the Pope, wearing red robes and cradling a braided palm, joined a procession to an open-air altar to celebrate Mass.

By the end of Mass, sunshine gave way to a soft, light rain and the crowd had swelled to 50,000 people, according to security officials.

Palm Sunday marks the start of a hectic week of activities leading to Easter Sunday, the most important day on the Christian liturgical calendar. On Holy Thursday he will visit the prison of Velletri, south of Rome, where he will wash the feet of 12 prisoners.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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