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Somber, tired-looking pope presides at Palm Sunday services

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A tired and somber-looking Pope Francis led a Palm Sunday service before more than 100,000 people, opening two packed weeks of activities including Easter and the canonization of two popes. The faithful waved palm and olive branches as the 77-year-old Argentine pope, whose pontificate is 13 months old, rode into the square on a white jeep and stopped at the center of the square to bless palm and olive branches.

Pope to wash feet of disabled in Easter ritual

Pope Francis will wash the feet of a group of disabled and elderly people as part of an Easter ritual imitating Jesus Christ's humility on April 17 during a visit to a hospice in Rome, the Vatican said on Tuesday. The pontiff will visit the Centro Santa Maria della Provvidenza Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi home on the city's northwestern outskirts on Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Christ's Last Supper with the apostles. The ceremony is part of the run-up to Easter Sunday.

Jerusalem clerics slam 'brutal' police acts at Easter

The heads of Jerusalem's churches on Sunday spoke out against the "brutal treatment" meted out by Israeli police to both priests and pilgrims during an ancient Easter ritual in the Old City. The incident occurred during the centuries-old sacred Holy Fire rite which takes place the day before Easter in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with police allegedly hitting a priest and several Egyptian diplomats. It sparked a diplomatic incident with Cairo which promptly summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest, with Israel's deputy foreign minister confirming he had apologised.

Pope to preside over first Good Friday

Pope Francis was to preside over his first Good Friday after washing the feet of 12 young prisoners, updating an ancient Easter ritual as part of his efforts to bring the Catholic Church closer to the needy.The new pontiff is due to recite the Passion of Christ - the story of the last hours of Jesus’s life - in St Peter’s Basilica on Friday, before leading the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) ceremony by the Colosseum, where thousands of Christians are believed to have been killed in Roman times.Francis, whose first days as pope have set a markedly different tone from his predec

Pope presides over trimmed Easter Vigil service

Pope Francis celebrated a trimmed back Easter Vigil service Saturday after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he began to put his mark on the Catholic Church.Francis processed into a darkened and silent St.

Easter celebrations

The Ministry of Human Rights Regional Directorate celebrated the Easter with the Christians at St John’s Catholic Church, Yohannabad. Regional Director Lubna Mansoor along with his team greeted the children and the staff of Church. Father Francis Gulzar briefed the participants about the history of Easter celebration. The children presented different poems and skits to entertain the guests.

Pope appeals to non-believers at first Easter vigil

Pope Francis appealed to non-believers and lapsed Catholics to "step forward" towards God at his first Easter vigil on Saturday in St Peter's Basilica in which he also baptised four adult converts. "If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms," said the 76-year-old Argentine pope, the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,300 years. "If you have been indifferent, take a risk -- you won't be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don't be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you," the pope said.

Pope appeals for end to Korea tensions in first Easter message

By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, appearing before more than 250,000 people for his first Easter Sunday address, called for world peace, respect for the environment and a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula. In his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message, he also appealed for a resumption of peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, an end to the civil war in Syria and political solutions to conflicts in several African countries.

Pope to celebrate first Easter vigil

Pope Francis is to celebrate his first Easter vigil on Saturday after praying for peace in the Middle East and stronger Christian-Muslim dialogue at a torch-lit ceremony for Good Friday. The newly elected Argentine pope will preside over a mass at St Peter's Basilica from 1930 GMT, baptising four adult converts -- an Albanian, an Italian, a Russian and a US national. The ceremony will wrap up a series of intensive preparations leading up to Easter Sunday -- the holiest day in the Christian calendar -- by the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years.

Pope to celebrate first Easter vigil

Pope Francis is to celebrate his first Easter vigil on Saturday after praying for peace in the Middle East and stronger Christian-Muslim dialogue at a torch-lit ceremony for Good Friday. The newly elected Argentine pope will preside over a mass at St Peter's Basilica from 1930 GMT, baptising four adult converts -- an Albanian, an Italian, a Russian and a US national. The ceremony will wrap up a series of intensive preparations leading up to Easter Sunday -- the holiest day in the Christian calendar -- by the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years.
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