One of the most intense weeks of the year in Rome, Holy Week, is set to begin. Just like every year, Pope Francis will celebrate the main ceremonies during these days.
On April 14, Palm Sunday, he will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10 a.m.. He will begin by blessing the palms and olive branches at the obelisk in the center of the square. From there, he will continue with the procession to the altar accompanied by young people. For more than 30 years, Palm Sunday also marks World Youth Day in Rome.
The Easter triduum begins April 18, Holy Thursday, with Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. It is a ceremony especially dedicated to priests, since it remembers the institution of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
In the afternoon, Pope Francis has chosen to go to a penitentiary center to celebrate this day of fraternal love. He will go to Prison Velletri to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper with rite of foot washing. He will wash the feet of 12 prisoners.
On 19, Good Friday, Pope Francis will celebrate the Passion of the Lord and adoration of the cross at 5 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica. Then he will go to the center of Rome, to pray the traditional Way of the Cross at the Colosseum.
This year, the pope once again entrusted the meditations to a woman, Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, a Consolata missionary. She is president of the association 'Slaves no more.' Since 2012, this organization combats all violence, discrimination and abuse against women. Therefore, these meditations will likely focus on human trafficking. At the end of the Way of the Cross, the pope will add some words and send the faithful forth with a blessing.
On Saturday night, at 8:30 p.m., Pope Francis will celebrate the Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica. He will baptize several people who are being welcomed into the faith.
Sunday April 21, the pope will celebrate Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10 o'clock in the morning. At noon, he will impart the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the basilica's central balcony.