Vatican City

Pope Francis to meet with Cardinals and Mexico ambassador

Encourages crowds to feel 'joy' at Palm Sunday mass

Pope Francis to meet with Cardinals and Mexico ambassador

Vatican City, March 25 - As Holy Week begins, Pope Francis on Monday will meet with Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, followed by Mexico's Ambassador to the Holy See Hector Federigo Ling Altamirano. Pope Francis ushered in the beginning of celebrations leading up to Easter with Palm Sunday Mass on St Peter's Square, telling the crowds to feel "joy!". "Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement!". The recently elected pope said in his homily to not lose hope and to "go outside...to the ends of the earth and of existence to bring Jesus!". 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 added a personal note, saying "My grandmother used to tell us children, a shroud has no pockets!". The pope told the crowds waving olive branches that he would see them soon in Brazil for World Youth Day. "I look forward joyfully to this coming July in Rio de Janeiro! Prepare well in your communities - prepare spiritually above all - so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world," the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires said.

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