Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Kenyan Christians mark Palm Sunday ahead of Easter holiday

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.

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

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

It is christened Palm Sunday because, according to the Gospel, the people placed Palm fronds in Jesus' path and also waved them as they hailed him amid shout of Hosanna, with the expectation that he was the Messiah to restore peace to them. He added, "One subtle form of triumphalism is spiritual worldliness, which represents the greatest danger, the most treacherous temptation facing the Church".

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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.

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

On Holy Thursday, Francis will travel to the city of Velletri, south of Rome, to wash and kiss the feet of 12 inmates in a prison to commemorate Jesus's gesture of humility toward his apostles on the night before he died.

Unlike previous years of Palm Sunday observance which were marked with a procession by Catholic faithful waving palm leaves, this time it had to be cancelled due to inclement weather in Tura.

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