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» 03/26/2013
HOLY LAND
Jerusalem, 35 thousand pray for peace in the Holy Land
Thousands from all over the world in procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem. For the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Palm Sunday is the rejection of all violence. Number of pilgrims doubled compared to 2012.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - " Today, our procession is one of salvation, the Lord himself is our salvation. Jesus, the King of Peace, came to Jerusalem, a city that has never known peace", said Msgr. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem pointing out the significance of Palm Sunday celebrated this year in front of over 35 thousand faithful from all over the world. In his homily, the prelate encouraged all present to pray for the Holy Land so that this feast may represent "the rejection of all violence" and invited everyone to "let the Lord enter our hearts and our lives, to heal our wounds and our divisions, to strengthen us in our weakness and give us the courage to persevere in the midst of trials."

Last year, the Israeli police counted 15,000 people. This year, 35,000 olive branches and woven palms were displayed and raised on the procession from Bethphage through the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem, with an imposing security system both in the air and on the ground. Despite the shift of the Easter dates in the Diocese and the number of permits (6,000 this year - only half compared to last year) issued to Palestinians by the Israeli authorities,  the crowd was dense.  Banners were held high by some parishioners, with the names of the Latin Patriarchate Parishes: Aboud, Ramallah, Jifna, Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Nablus.

From the Church of Bethphage (where Jesus mounted the donkey), the faithful began marching in droves and with joy to cries of "Hosanna."  The sun shone brightly upon this show of music and color; an international dance of drums, guitars, languages and fervor, with many wearing native Palestinian clothing.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal walked at the back of the procession with the Franciscans and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, alongside some heads of the other Catholic Churches of the Holy Land and the Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto who is also the Apostolic Delegate for the Palestinian Territories.

On Palm Sunday morning, the Patriarch presided over the Procession with Palms and the Pontifical Mass at the Altar of St. Mary Magdalene at the Holy Sepulchre. The previous night, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, celebrated the Vigil of Palm Sunday in the Chapel of the Apparition and the Holy Mass at Calvary.  

This year only the Catholic areas of Bethlehem and Jerusalem celebrate Easter according to the Gregorian calendar. Most of the Catholic communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus in fact follow the Julian calendar and begin Holy Week with the Orthodox Christians in the first week of May. The unification of the dates of Easter was announced on 15 October 2012 by the bishops of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, where it was established that within two years all the Catholics of the diocese of the Latin Rite and the various Eastern rites will celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar. (C. L.)

Domenica delle Palme

Domenica delle Palme 2

Domenica delle Palme 5

Domenica delle Palme 6

 

Domenica delle Palme 7

Domenica delle Palme 8

Domenica delle Palme 9


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See also
03/24/2005 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
Jerusalem: the Cross breaks down the wall of fear
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/26/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Custos of the Holy Land: a "normal" Easter, overflowing with pilgrims
04/05/2012 LAOS
Laotian Christians challenge official ban and celebrate Holy Week
03/21/2005 LEBANON
Palm Sunday, when hope lies with the young
04/21/2011 HOLY LAND
The Churches of the Holy Land: reform must lead to freedom for religious minorities

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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