Pope Francis opens Holy Week for thousands gathered in Vatican on Palm Sunday

Pope Francis is celebrating Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, which is filled with thousands of people waving olive branches and palm fronds.

A general view of Saint Peter's Square is seen as the faithful gather during Pope Francis' Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican March 24, 2013. Image by: ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / Reuters

A general view of Saint Peter’s Square is seen as the faithful gather during Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday mass at the Vatican March 24, 2013.
Image by: ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / Reuters

The new pontiff arrived in an uncovered vehicle to start solemn Holy Week ceremonies, which lead up to Easter, Christianity’s most important day.

Francis wore bright red robes over a white cassock and presided over the Mass from an altar sheltered by a canopy on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Cardinals, many of them among the electors who on March 13 chose the Roman Catholic church’s first Latin American pope, sat in rows for the ceremony held under hazy skies on a breezy day.

Sapa-AP

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