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President Rivlin, Pope Francis Exchange Holiday Greetings
Pope Francis delivers his traditional 'Urbi et Orbi' Blessing - from the central balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square on April 16, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

President Rivlin, Pope Francis Exchange Holiday Greetings

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Pope Francis exchanged holiday greetings by phone on Wednesday, as Jews ushered in Passover and Christians were in the midst of “Holy Week,” which culminates with Easter on April 12. “When you light your holiday candles in Israel, we will all be with you. I will be with you in my heart and in my prayers,” a statement released by Rivlin’s office quoted the pontiff as saying. The two leaders also discussed the devastation being caused by the coronavirus, which Rivlin said could only be overcome by “working together across the world.” The Israeli president also thanked Francis for taking a firm stance against anti-Semitism. Easter is one of the Roman Catholic Church’s principal festivals, which, according to Christian scripture, marks the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion. The week-long lead-up to Easter includes Palm Sunday, which celebrates Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago; Maundy Thursday, which marks the “Last Supper” – when Jesus, who was Jewish, met with his disciples to hold what was likely a Passover Seder; and Good Friday, which commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion on a cross.

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