Pope Francis leads Palm Sunday service, bounces back from illness, Palm Sunday celebrated worldwide
Diplomat Times(VATICAN CITY) – Pope Francis led a Palm Sunday service the day after he was discharged from hospital following a bout of bronchitis, and urged the world to take better care of the poor, the lonely and the infirm.
Thousands of people waved palm and olive branches as Francis was driven into St. Peter’s Square sitting in the back of a white, open-topped vehicle before the start of the Mass, which lasted two hours.
“Let us unite ourselves to this gesture with our prayer, which will be more intense during the days of Holy Week.”
“I thank you for your participation and also for your prayers, which intensified during these past days. Thank you,” he said at the end of the service in an apparent reference to his recent illness, drawing loud applause from the crowd.
“Pope Francis greets all those present from Rome and around the world for the Palm Sunday celebration and asks everyone to unite in prayers for peace, remembering Ukraine in particular. He thanks everyone for their prayers during these days.
At the conclusion of the Palm Sunday celebration in Saint Peter’s Square before leading the recitation of the Angels prayer, Pope Francis offered his greetings to all those present coming from near and far.
“I thank you for your participation and also for your prayers, which intensified during these past days. Thank you!”
The Pope offered his blessing to a peace caravan that left Italy for Ukraine in recent days to bring humanitarian necessities. Associations involved include the Pope John XXIII, FOCSIV, Pro Civitate Christiana, Pax Christi and other associations. The solidarity marks a sign of the closeness of the people of Italy to the battered people of Ukraine. The recalled that today “they are offering olive branches, symbols of the peace of Christ.”
Palm Sunday celebrated worldwide
WHY PEOPLE CELEBRATE PALM SUNDAY
On Palm Sunday, Christian churches often give the congregation palm branches to re-create the celebration of Christ’s final arrival in Jerusalem because his followers used palm branches to honor him as King and Messiah.
Palm Sunday is the last Sunday in Lent and the Sunday before Easter. It’s the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the year for Christians. The date changes yearly because Easter changes in relation to the Jewish holiday of Passover.
The Story and Meaning of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish holiday of Passover.
Jesus rode a young donkey into Jerusalem and was greeted by a large crowd with palm branches and people shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” and other expressions of praise (Matthew 21:9). The people put their coats and palm branches on the ground as Jesus passed by.
Descriptions of this event in Jesus’ life can be found in Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, Matthew 21:1-11, and John 12:1-17. Some Bibles title the passage “The Triumphal Entry” or “Jesus comes to Jerusalem as king.” These passages provide insight and background into the significance of this celebration for Christians.
Each Gospel account provides a different perspective on Jesus’ life and ministry the way four friends might focus on different things to describe the same activity.
Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Vatican News, Reuters, and from AP News, Diplomat Times holds no responsibility for its content.