palm sunday

Holy Week: Prayer, reflection, traditions mark the pinnacle of the Church

The risen Christ is depicted in the painting “Resurrection” by 15th-century Italian master Andrea Mantegna.

In Holy Week, we honor the pinnacle of the Catholic faith, when Jesus rose from the dead as part of God's salvific plan for humanity. This is bigger than Christmas. It's a reminder of His infinite mercy for us, and a time in which we grow closer to Him in love.

Read more about the Holy Week traditions at

Palm Sunday

Mass Mob fills the pews again at historic St. Mary of Victories

Lisa Johnston | | Twitter: @aeternusphoto A "Mass Mob" descended upon St. Mary of Victories Church on Palm Sunday. Chaplain Father Brian Harrison is a member of the Oblates of Wisdom, a religious community who offers the Novus Ordo (Vatican II) Mass in Latin.

As she served donuts in the parish hall, Emma Balogh beamed as she revisualized the standing-room-only crowd at St. Mary of Victories Church.

The last time the Downtown church hosted a crowd this big was in 1974, when Cardinal József Mindszenty visited St. Louis. The late Hungarian prelate, an avid supporter of religious liberty, spoke to the people about spending years in prison for opposing communism.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Walk with Jesus this Holy Week

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

On Palm Sunday, we journey with Jesus through the final week of His earthly life. As He travels to Jerusalem on a donkey, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road, "praising God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed, 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.'" This echoes the angels in Bethlehem who proclaimed His birth. The rest of the Palm Sunday readings tell a different story.

Holy Week makes a difference

Pilgrims carried palm fronds and olive branches at a Palm Sunday procession last year on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem April 13. Christian pilgrims walked the path that Jesus took when He rode a donkey into Jerusalem.

Holy Week often is a powerful experience as processions, especially the Way of the Cross, and other devotional practices give people the opportunity to relive events in the Bible.

Taking part means identifying oneself with Christ, following in His footsteps and making His journey our own.

This is when we remember the last week of Jesus' life on earth, His Passion and Resurrection. It begins with Palm Sunday -- Jesus' triumphant arrival in Jerusalem -- and continues through the Easter triduum. It reaches the heart of being a Christian and places our thoughts on what Jesus did for us.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Christ's resurrection fills us with the hope of new life

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

Holy Week is the greatest week of the liturgical year. Devotion to Christ's passion is essential for salvation. The paschal mystery describes the law of dying and rising that must direct our lives. The more deeply we enter into this paschal mystery, the more we will experience victory over sin. The more we enter into the love of Christ that powered Him through His passion, the more we move into a love that crowds out sin. That is the power of the cross of Christ.

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