Since 2019, St. Peter’s Square has not been as full as on Palm Sunday this year.
Thousands of pilgrims filled St. Peter’s Square for the Palm Sunday ceremony, after the pandemic restrictions were lifted.
Throughout his homily, Pope Francis alluded to the ugly nature of war. He said that in war Jesus is once again nailed to the Cross.
Yes, Christ is nailed to the cross once again in the mothers who mourn the unjust death of their husbands and children. He is crucified in the refugees fleeing bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly who are abandoned to die, in the youth deprived of a future, in the soldiers sent to kill their brothers. Christ is being crucified in those ways today.
During the Angleus, Pope Francis touched on the theme of war, calling for a truce in Ukraine and for both sides to negotiate peace.
Let them lay down their arms. Let an Easter truce begin, and let us avoid reloading weapons and fighting again. No. Let us have a truce that brings peace through real negotiation. Let us also be willing to make some sacrifice for the good of the people. Indeed, what kind of victory will it be if, at the end, we place the flag on a pile of rubble?
From the start of the ceremony, the Pope’s knee problems would limit his involvement. For example, he did not participate in the initial procession of the palm branches as a result of the discomfort.
But at the end of the Mass…
The Pope got into the popemobile and was able to greet people from there. He was in the car for more than 15 minutes and went as far as Via della Conciliazione. This was one of the symbolic images of the ceremony as it was the first time Pope Francis was able to do this since 2019.
Although the Pope has trouble walking, he is still able to send help to those in need. Yesterday, the Vatican announced that Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Pope’s right-hand man for charitable activities, would travel to Ukraine for the third time to bring a second ambulance.