Today (Sunday, 7 April) is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday in Lent -- which marks the start of Holy Week in the Roman Catholic Church.
GV PAN People buying palms outside St. Peter's Square
CU Nun looking at palm stalk
GV Pope reading sermon
SV PAN Churchmen seated during service
GV Pope giving blessing and sitting
SV Palms waved during service PAN TO Pope receiving mitre
CU Bishop holding palm front ZOOM OUT TO GV Churchmen
SV Pope blessing palms
Initials SC/202 SC/216
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Background: Today (Sunday, 7 April) is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday in Lent -- which marks the start of Holy Week in the Roman Catholic Church.
To commemorate the traditional occasion, Pope Paul celebrated Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, and also distributed palm and olive branches to Cardinals and Bishops. The rite recalls Jesus Christ's triumphal entrance to Jerusalem, when crowds laid down palm leaves and olive benches for His donkey to walk on.
Thousands of Roman Catholic faithful -- their crowds swelled by tourists of many other religions -- gathered in St. Peter's Square to celebrate Palm Sunday.