Thousands of pilgrims mark Palm Sunday
Thousands of Christian pilgrims took part in Palm Sunday celebrations in Jerusalem at the start of the Holy Week.
Worshippers carried palm fronds and olive branches and marched from the top of the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem. Israeli police say an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and is the start of the church’s most solemn week, which includes the Good Friday re-enactment of Jesus’ crucifixion and death and his resurrection on Easter.
The procession made its way from the Mount of Olives past the Garden of Gethsemane where, according to biblical tradition, Jesus was betrayed, then finally into the alleyways of the Old City.
In Vatican City, 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.
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.” Francis added that “one subtle form of triumphalism is spiritual worldliness, which represents the greatest danger, the most treacherous temptation threatening the church.” He recommended humility as a way to counter such temptations.
Francis also invited people to pray for peace.
Christian pilgrims carry palm fronds at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city on Sunday.