JERUSALEM – The pilgrims arriving in Jerusalem for Holy Week are more numerous than last year, but they are still few compared to the crowds that visited before the 2000 intifada.
On Palm Sunday, some 15,000 pilgrims took part in the procession of the Latin-rite Catholic Church, from the Mount of Olives to the old city of Jerusalem, recalling Jesus’ triumphal entrance there.
Among the participants were foreign pilgrims returning to the Holy Land in a period of calm after four years of violence.
Until the year 2000, about 150,000 pilgrims arrived in the Holy Land for the Latin Catholic Holy Week.
The Palm Sunday procession, which ended in the Church of St. Anne, was blessed by the Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem.
Several bishops’ conferences in the West have encouraged the faithful to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to express spiritual closeness to the Christians there and to help boost the local economies.