Jews, Christians Mark Religious Festivals in Holy City

This year, Passover and Easter fall during the same week, and Jerusalem is awash with pilgrims and worshipers from both religions.


Every so often, the vagaries of the Gregorian and lunar calendars mean that the Jewish festival of Passover and the Christian Easter coincide.

On such occasions, the Holy City of Jerusalem is awash with pilgrims and worshippers from both religions.

On Thursday, the second intermediate day of the eight-day Passover holiday, ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered at the Western Wall for the priestly blessing, while Good Friday – when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus –believers will parade through the Old City, via the Stations of the Cross.

In Rome, meanwhile, two young women were among 12 people whose feet Pope Francis washed and kissed at a traditional ceremony in a youth prison on Holy Thursday, the first time a pontiff has included females in the rite.

The pope traveled to the Casal del Marmo prison on Rome's outskirts for the traditional Mass, which commemorates Jesus's gesture of humility toward his apostles the night before he died.

The ceremony has been traditionally limited to men because all of Jesus' apostles were male. The Vatican spokesman said two of the 12 whose feet were washed were Muslim inmates.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men of the Cohanim priestly caste participating in a blessing during the Jewish holiday of Passover in Jerusalem on March 29.Credit: AP

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