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15 April 2019, 03:01 | Devin Moran
Kenyan Christians mark Palm Sunday ahead of Easter holiday
As is tradition, Sunday Mass in Saint Peter's Square on Palm Sunday began with Pope Francis sprinkling holy water and blessing palm fronds and olive branches for the service in front of the towering obelisk in the center of the square.
This year, Palm Sunday falls on April 14, Good Friday falls on April 19 and Easter Sunday will be celebrated on April 21.
"This day is important, as you can see Christians waving palm branches the same way the crowds greeted Jesus when he entered Jerusalem by waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches", he said. Israeli officials reported an estimated 15,000 people took part in the procession. The day celebrates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey days before he was crucified, he added. "This twofold mystery accompanies our entrance into Holy Week each year", the Pope said.
Anglican Church priest-in-charge for St Mary's Chitungwiza Canon Norman Nyawo said the event was crucial as it inspires Christians to have the same character as Jesus.
Palm Sunday represents the start of the church's most solemn week, representing a key day before the Easter celebration.
Pope Francis is marking Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, which is jammed with tens of thousands of faithful.
At the end of the two-hour service, Francis asked the crowd to pray for peace around the world but particularly the Holy Land and the Middle East.
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 to commemorate Jesus's gesture of humility toward his apostles on the night before he died.
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