Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week in the Christian calendar. This religious tradition remembers the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Faithful believers come together in procession at the church bringing palm leaves to be blessed by the priest or minister of the church. They resemble the crowd that welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem some two thousand years ago.
The old practice was first recorded in the “Pilgrimage of Etheria”. It was a written by a religious woman who traveled in the Middle East. She wrote it for her colleagues at home in Western Europe near the end of the 4th Century. The book describes the details of daily and annual liturgical activities in Jerusalem at the time.
The document was discovered in 1884. It was found in an 11th-century Latin manuscript at Arezzo, Italy. Rufinus a Christian priest from Northern Italy and the writings were first attributed to her sister named Silvia. The author was determined later to be a Spanish nun named Etheria. Thus, the book is called Perigrinatio Etheriae, which translates in English as the “Pilgrimage of Etheria”. Scholars assume that the account was written close the end of the 4th century. The Catholic Church performs this religious practice up to the present day.