Pope Celebrates Palm Sunday Mass

Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Marking the commencement of the Holy Week, the devotees of Bantwal Parish celebrated Palm Sunday with religious fervour here on April 14.

"This day is important, as you can see Christians waving palm branches the same way the crowds greeted Jesus when he entered Jerusalem by waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches", he said. Israeli police say an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession.

Pope Francis began his homily by saying, "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.

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

Palm Sunday, otherwise known as Passion Sunday, marks the first day of Holy Week - the last week of Lent, which starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. The Sandakan-born Archbishop also reminded devotees to keep their individual palm branches/leaves at home to serve as reminder of the passion and death of Jesus. The Vatican has announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Portugal in 2021.

Francis also invited people to pray for peace, especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East.

Various churches yesterday commemorated Palm Sunday, an event which signifies Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem ahead of his Crucifixion.

The 82-year-old leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics leads an Easter vigil service on Saturday night and on Easter Sunday he reads the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.

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