Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.
Tens of thousands joyfully wave olive branches and palm fronds in the Vatican for Sunday mass.
The celebration kicks off Holy week, leading up to Easter next Sunday, Christianity’s most important day.
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ return to Jerusalem before his death and resurrection a week later.
Francis told the crowd that Jesus “awakened so many hopes in the heart, above all among humble, simple, poor, forgotten people, those who don’t matter in the eyes of the world.”
Francis also announced plans to visit Brazil in July, to attend a Catholic youth gathering in Rio de Janeiro.