Pope on Palm Sunday decries suffering from war

2017-04-09 16:01
Cardinals hold palm leaves as Pope Francis celebrated a Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

Cardinals hold palm leaves as Pope Francis celebrated a Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter's Square at the Vatican. (Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

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Vatican City - Pope Francis has blessed palm fronds and olive branches in St Peter's Square at the start of Holy Week celebrations.

The pontiff in his Palm Sunday homily decried suffering in the world today, citing those who "suffer from slave labour, from family tragedies, from diseases ... they suffer from wars and terrorism, from interests that are armed and ready to strike."

The celebrations began with a solemn procession, with the pope and cardinals walking through the throngs gathered in St Peter's Square clutching elaborately braided palm fronds.

The processions recalls the bittersweet nature of Holy Week, with the faithful clutching simple palm fronds and olive branches to commemorate Jesus' triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on a procession, followed later in the week with his death on a wooden cross.

Read more on:    holy week  |  pope francis  |  vatican city  |  religion

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