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Altar servers process during Palm Sunday Mass at Holy Family Church in Gaza City on March 24 (OSV News/Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem)

When Christians gathered in Jerusalem to remember Jesus’ entry into the city, it was one of a few joyful moments in the Holy Land, “crushed by so much hatred” in the months following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Source: OSV News.

“Despite the war and everything going on around us this year, we have once again chosen to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the Holy City,” said Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, as the traditional Palm Sunday procession moved through the streets of the city.

Over the past months, Cardinal Pizzaballa said, many felt “lost or alone and without reference points,” and “crushed by so much hatred.”

Walking through the unusually empty streets of Jerusalem, given the Holy Week and Easter time, the patriarch emphasised that the celebration in this time, when many of the dioceses “could not join us,” makes it all the more important to “shout with strength and faith that we have a point of reference, Jesus Christ.”

“We are not alone, we are not abandoned, and above all we are not afraid!” the church leader emphasised in his message for Palm Sunday.

Cardinal Pizzaballa said the thoughts of Christians present during the Palm Sunday celebration were with “those who cannot be here with us today, and especially with our brothers and sisters in Gaza,” to whom he had a message of closeness: “You are not alone,” assuring them of prayer.

But despite dire conditions, a group of over 500 Christians sheltering in Holy Family Parish in Gaza City celebrated Palm Sunday “in the most solemn way,” said a social media post on X, formerly Twitter, by the Latin Patriarchate, which also shared joyful pictures of the celebration.


‘We are not alone, abandoned or afraid,’ patriarch of Jerusalem says on Palm Sunday (By Paulina Guzik, OSV News