Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week for Christians - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week for Christians

Posted: Updated:

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis, marking Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter's Square, ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he continued to stay from the script by hopping off his popemobile to pose for "selfies" with young people and also sipping tea passed to him from the crowd.
    
In his homily, Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives.
    
"Has my life fallen asleep?" Francis asked after listening to a Gospel account of how Jesus' disciples fell asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas before his crucifixion.
    
"Am I like Pontius Pilate, who, when he sees the situation is difficult, washes my hands?"
    
He sounded tired, frequently pausing to catch his breath, as he spoke for about 15 minutes in his homily during Palm Sunday Mass, which solemnly opens Holy Week for the Roman Catholic Church.
    
"Where is my heart?" the pope asked, pinpointing that as the "question which accompanies us" throughout Holy Week.
    
Francis seemed to regain his wind after the 2 ½ hour ceremony. He shed his red vestments atop his plain white cassock, chatted amiably with cardinals dressed more formally than he at that point. Then he posed for "selfies" with young people from Rio de Janeiro who had carried a large cross in the square.
    
He had barely climbed aboard his open-topped popemobile when he spotted Polish youths, they, too, clamoring for a "selfie" with a pope, and he hopped off, not even waiting for the vehicle to fully stop, to oblige them. In another moment in the pope's long tour of the square, the Vatican's security chief poured herbal mate tea from a thermos, thrust toward the pontiff by someone in the crowd, into a mate cup, also held out by an admirer, and passed the cup to Francis for a sip.
    
In a crowd of around 100,000 Romans, tourists and pilgrims, people clutched olive tree branches, tall palm fronds or tiny braided palm leaves shaped like crosses that were blessed by Francis at the start of the ceremony.
    
Francis used a wooden pastoral staff carved by Italian prison inmates, who donated it to him. The pope wants to put people on the margins of life at the center of the church's attention.
    
Francis wore red vestments, symbolizing blood shed by the crucified Jesus.
    
Holy Week culminates next Sunday with Easter Mass, also in St. Peter's Square.  Many faithful will remain in Rome, while others will pour into the city for the April 27 canonization of two popes, John Paul II and John XXIII. Francis noted that John Paul's long-time aide, now Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, had come to Rome.
    
Francis noted he'll be making a pilgrimage to South Korea this summer, with the key event an Asian youth gathering on Aug. 15 in Daejeon.
 

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Police investigate shooting at downtown strip club

    Police investigate shooting at downtown strip club

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:18 AM EDT2014-08-21 09:18:15 GMT
    Toledo police are investigating a shooting at a downtown strip club. It happened just before 1am at Chez Joey gentleman's club on the 700 block of Monroe Street. Detectives say at least one person was
    Toledo police are investigating a shooting at a downtown strip club.  
  • Recycling services see major increase in water bottles

    Recycling services see major increase in water bottles

    Toledo and surrounding areas are still feeling the impact from the water crisis. During the height of the crisis, residents were worried about getting their hands on bottled water. Now all those extra bottles are causing extra waste. 13abc's Kristi Leigh has the story.
  • One of the officers in Ohio Walmart shooting back on the job

    One of the officers in Ohio Walmart shooting back on the job

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:09 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:09:04 GMT
    Beavercreek Police Sgt. David M. DarkowBeavercreek Police Sgt. David M. Darkow
    BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) - A city official says one of two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a suburban Dayton Wal-Mart store is back on the job.Beavercreek city attorney Stephen McHugh tells the Dayton Daily News that Sgt. David Darkow has returned to work following the shooting earlier this month. He says the other officer remains on administrative leave.Neither McHugh nor the Ohio Attorney General's Office has said which officer fired the shot that killed 21-year-old...
    BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (AP) - A city official says one of two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man at a suburban Dayton Wal-Mart store is back on the job.Beavercreek city attorney Stephen McHugh tells the Dayton Daily News that Sgt. David Darkow has returned to work following the shooting earlier this month. He says the other officer remains on administrative leave.Neither McHugh nor the Ohio Attorney General's Office has said which officer fired the shot that killed 21-year-old...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!