Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Elias Hubbard
April 15, 2019

Faithful attending Palm Sunday Mass in Saint Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Apr. 14, 2019.

REENACTMENT. Palm Sunday reenacts the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, as in this scene at the Baguio Cathedral on April 14, 2019. Israeli officials reported an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession.

Francis sprinkled holy water over palms and olive branches held by pilgrims and tourists as he led the celebrations in the run up to Easter Sunday - the most important day in the Christian calendar.

The pope cautioned against the temptation of "triumphalism", which he said feeds itself by "looking askance at others and constantly judging them inferior, wanting, failures".

"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 Palm Sunday rites kicked off the most solemn week in the Catholic Church, commemorating the passion and death of Christ and leading to the celebration of Easter a week later.

Anglican Church priest-in-charge for St Mary's Chitungwiza Canon Norman Nyawo said the event was crucial as it inspires Christians to have the same character as Jesus. The Vatican has announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Portugal in 2021.

Earlier this month the 82-year-old pope attempted to bring peace to Africa, kneeling and allegedly kissing the feet of the leaders of conflict-torn South Sudan - President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar. And, on Easter Sunday the pope will give his traditional blessing to the city and to the world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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