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Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

Pope Francis blesses palm branches as he ushers in Holy Week

"For us, Palm Sunday is a day we remember Jesus Christ our King's last days on earth especially how things unfold when he entered into Jerusalem before his Crucifixion".

Holy Week begins this morning with the observance of Palm Sunday, when Christians carry palm branches to recall the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before his crucifixion.

The cardinal invited all the people present to follow this example and go forth in peace like Jesus.

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

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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. Israeli police say an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession. "This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year", he said.

Francis pointed to the story as a warning to resist triumphalism and remain humble.

REENACTMENT. Palm Sunday reenacts the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, as in this scene at the Baguio Cathedral on April 14, 2019. The Vatican has announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Portugal in 2021.

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 there to commemorate Jesus' gesture of humility toward his apostles on the night before he died. And, on Easter Sunday the pope will give his traditional blessing to the city and to the world.