Palm Sunday pilgrims retrace Jesus' trip to Jerusalem
Thousands of Christian pilgrims, the crowd swelled by foreigners taking advantage of a lull in Israeli-Palestinian violence, waved palms yesterday as they marched from the Mount of Olives into the Jerusalem's Old City to re-enact Jesus' triumphant return.
In Bethlehem, Palestinian Christians turned their Palm Sunday procession into a demonstration against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.
Pilgrims walked in the sunshine down the Mount of Olives and up the hill across from it into the Old City of Jerusalem. Priests, led by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, wore colorful frocks. Many of the marchers carried flags as well as palm leaves.
The large crowd reflected a restoration of calm in the region after four years of Palestinian-Israeli violence. Tourists from around the world joined local Christians for the walk of about an hour.
From 2000 to 2004 the number of Christian tourists visiting Israel dropped by one-third. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism projects an increase of 500,000 foreign visitors this year, hoping many will be Christians.
Meanwhile Pope John Paul II was cheered by thousands as he appeared at his Vatican window and waved an olive branch at Palm Sunday pilgrims.
The Holy Father is recovering from a tracheotomy that was preformed after he experienced difficulty breathing.
For the first time in his 26-year papacy, the pope will not officiate at Holy Week services. However the BBC has reported that he has told Vatican officials he wants to deliver the Easter Sunday morning blessing and message.
The pope watched the Palm Sunday service on TV in his Vatican apartment. His doctors have advised him to avoid contact with crowds, because he has a high risk of infection.
Pilgrims retrace Jesus' trip to Jerusalem (Associated Press/Seattle Post-Intelligencier 20/3/05)
Pope waves olive branch to Vatican crowd (Big News Network 20/3/05)
Pope marks anniversary of Gaudium et Spes (CathNews 18/3/05)
No more updates on Pope's health crisis (CathNews 17/3/05)
Era of 'video-pope' approaches (CathNews 15/3/05)
Pope returns home from hospital (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pell says distance creates Australian uncertainty about Pope's health (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pope to come home for Holy Week (CathNews 11/3/05)
Pope a non-starter for Holy Week (CathNews 9/3/05)
Pope told to use gestures to spare voice (CathNews 8/3/05)
Pope's message to Berlusconi on hero Nicola Calipari (CathNews 7/3/05)
Pope hoping to be home for Easter (CathNews 4/3/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 4/3/05)
Pope celebrates Mass in hospital room (CathNews 2/3/05)
Chilean cardinal to announce Pope's successor (CathNews 1/3/05)
Pell backs Pope resolve to carry on (CathNews 28/2/05)
Pope set for tracheotomy procedure (CathNews 25/2/05)
Mixed signals on Pope recovery (CathNews 23/2/05)
New Pope book hits Jewish sensitivities (ICathNews 21/2/05)
Pope tells media to promote truth, not trash (CathNews 22/2/05)
Vatican official urges effort to reach lapsed Catholics (CathNews 4/6/04)
Pope again encourages use of Internet for evangelisation (CathNews 18/2/04)
Vatican official urges advertising that promotes human dignity (CathNews 29/10/03)
64% in US use Internet for religious reasons (CathNews 19/5/04)
Pope says truth in media serves cause of peace (CathNews 26/3/03)
MORE POPE STORIES
Absent Pope looms large over Holy Week (Daily Telegraph 20/3/05)
Pope delights faithful with window appearance (Irish Times 20/3/05)
Pope can hold conversations (Big News Network 2020y/3/05)
Pope can hold conversations (Big News Network/UPI 19/3/05)
Limited role for virtual Pope (BBC 20/3/05)
Palm Sunday pilgrims cheer Pope (BBC 18/3/05)
Pope makes silent Palm Sunday appearance (ABC Radio Australia 21/3/05)
New energies for the Church and the Pope from the Cross of Jesus, says Cardinal Ruini (AsiaNews.it 18/3/05)
In brief TV appearance, pope blesses Rome's young people (Catholic News Service 18/3/05)
Sandro Magister: A Vibrant Holy Week for the Vatican Aristocracy (L'Espresso 20/3/05)
Surprise video appearance by Pope at youth conference (Catholic World News 18/3/05)
Pope Waves to Faithful on Palm Sunday (The Guardian/Associated Press 20/3/05)
Frail pope appears before Palm Sunday faithful (MSNBC 20/3/05)
John L Allen: Papabili at an 'agenda-setting moment' (National Catholic Reporter 18/3/05)
Pope Misses Palm Sunday Services for First Time (New York Times 20/3/05)
The man who saved the Pope (Sunday Mail 20/3/05)
Pope's public suffering a testament to his faith (Chicago Tribune/The State.com 20/3/05)
Cardinal Ruini to lead Palm Sunday celebration at Vatican (The Universe 18/3/05)
Holy Father, in video linkup, blesses youth in Rome meeting (Vatican Information Service 18/3/05)
John Paul II Greets Youth Meeting Via TV
Papal Message to Youth of Latium Region (Zenit 18/3/05)
21 Mar 2005