Thousands of Christian pilgrims mark Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

Lamar Ellis
April 15, 2019

Worshippers carried palm fronds and olive branches and marched from the top of the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem.

HOLY WATER. Priests sprinkle holy water on thousands of Catholics who join the Palm Sunday observance at Santo Niño Parish in Tondo, Manila, on April 14, 2019. The waving of palm branches and leaves symbolises the re-enactment of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey days before he was crucified, according to Christian teaching.

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".

"Festive acclamations and brutal torture: the silence of Jesus throughout his Passion is profoundly impressive", Francis said in his homily. He added, "One subtle form of triumphalism is spiritual worldliness, which represents the greatest danger, the most treacherous temptation facing the Church".

Palm Sunday marks the start of a hectic week of activities leading to Easter Sunday, the most important day on the Christian liturgical calendar.

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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.

Pope Francis during Palm Sunday Mass in Saint Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Apr. 14, 2019.

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

Like every year the pope has a busy schedule this week. On Good Friday he will lead the Way of the Cross procession at Rome's ancient Colosseum. Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples. And, on Easter Sunday the pope will give his traditional blessing to the city and to the world.

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