This long procession in St. Peter's Square recalls the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before the Passion.
Pope Francis participated in it until he arrived at the obelisk, where he traditionally blesses the palms and olive branches.
Then he continued to the altar in the square. In his homily, the pope recalled that Palm Sunday is always bittersweet because it remembers that Jesus entered Jerusalem, hailed by the crowds, only to be crucified a few days later. However, it is proof that he was the real Messiah.
"He is not an illusion that sows false illusions, a "new age " prophet, promising smoke. On the contrary: He is a well-defined Messiah, with the concrete physiognomy of the servant, the servant of God and the man who goes to the passion; He is the great patient of human pain."
Pope Francis explained that Jesus is always clear with his disciples: His way is that of the final victory, proving one must always pass through the cross to reach the other side.
"In order to follow Jesus faithfully, we ask for the grace to do it not through words, but by deeds and to have the patience to carry our cross, not wanting to reject it or to get rid of it, but, looking at Him, accepting the cross and carrying it day by day."
He also spoke of the suffering which Christ experienced, the same pain that many people still suffer today.
"He is present in many of our brothers and sisters who today, today suffer like He did. They suffer from slave labor, suffer from family dramas, from diseases... Suffer from war and terrorism, because of interests that motivate one to use arms and cause damage.”
At the end of the Mass, the pope traveled around St. Peter's Square in the popemobile to greet the 50,000 pilgrims who attended this ceremony which begins Holy Week.