St. Peter’s Square was the venue for an address by Pope Francis for his Palm Sunday Mass. Addressing tens of thousands at St.Peter’s Square in Italian, the Pope prayed for the dead of the Germanwings crash. He also prayed and paid tributes to ‘martyrs’ killed for their faith.
Pope Francis, 78, prayed for the unfortunate victims of the Germanwings airliner crash which is believed to have been caused deliberately by the co-pilot. The Pope also noted that schoolchildren were also aboard the plane.
Palm Sunday commemorates the day which according to Bible Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem before his crucifixion. According to AP says that the Pope “clutched a palm frond during the traditional procession at the service’s start. In keeping with the simple tone of his two-year-old papacy, Francis leaned on a plain wooden pastoral staff instead of a traditionally more ornate one as he stood under a red canopy on the basilica steps.”
The AP reports: “He wore bright red vestments to recall Jesus’ death by crucifixion. In his homily, Francis stressed humility, another quality that has marked his papal style.”
The Pope was referring to the killing of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt who was killed in cold blood by Islamic Extremists.
The Pontiff said, “The humiliation endured by all those who, for their lives of fidelity to the Gospel, encounter discrimination and pay a personal price. We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians, the martyrs of our own time. There are many of them. They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity.”
The Pope will preside over a Way of the Cross service at the Coliseum on Friday evening. Come Easter Sunday and the Pope will celebrate mid-morning Mass in St. Peter’s Square. He will also bless the gathering from the basilica’s central balcony.