Pope John Paul the Second opened Holy Week at a special Palm Sunday (8 April) procession, held under bright spring sunshine at St.
Pope John Paul the Second opened Holy Week at a special Palm Sunday (8 April) procession, held under bright spring sunshine at St. Peter's Square. It marked the start of the busiest week in the Papal calendar.
SYNOPSIS: More than seventy thousand people massed in St. Peter's Square,carrying olive branches and palms for the Pope's blessing.
It was the Pope's first Palm Sunday since his election last autumn. The blessing commemorates Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem when palms were laid down on his route shortly before he was tried and put to death.
The Pontiff, dressed in red cape, held a spring of olive in his hand as he celebrated mass after leading the procession around the colonnaded square.
The Pope prayed that people holding spiritual and temporal authority did not abuse their power. He also prayed for "our brothers and sisters who suffer unjustly in prisons and concentrations camps".