Palm Sunday: Pope Benedict Starts Holy Week With Mass At St. Peter's Square

Dan Evon

Pope Benedict XVI returned to Rome after a week-long visit to Mexico and Cuba to start the Catholic Church's Holy Week celebration with a Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Square. The Pope's message of unity was heightened by the fact that Cuba's communist government agreed to his request to make Good Friday a national holiday.

Reuters reports that the Pope, who talked about Jesus' entry into Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion, said that the underlying message of Easter was the "shared destiny" of the human race. The Pope said:

"Here we find the first great message that today's feast brings us: the invitation to adopt a proper outlook upon all humanity, on the peoples who make up the world, on its different cultures and civilizations."

The Pope will lead the "Via Crucis" around the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday.

On Easter Sunday the pope will deliver his "Urbi et Orbi," his message and blessing to city of Rome and to the world.