VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 29:  Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the the end of Palm Sunday Mass on March 29, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican. On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate Jesus' arrival into Jerusalem, where he was put to death. It marks the official beginning of Holy Week during which Christians observe the death of Christ before celebrations begin on Easter.  (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Palm Sunday amid social distancing rules
02:32 - Source: CNN
Rome CNN  — 

During a Palm Sunday mass held in a deserted church, Pope Francis told young people not to be afraid to put their lives on the line for others during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors at the Chair of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica.

Normally celebrated outdoors in front of thousands of tourists, the Pope instead spoke in the presence only of a small handful of priests and nuns and a reduced choir, who all maintained a safe distance from one another.

“Look at the real heroes who come to light in these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people; rather they are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others,” he said.

“Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line,” the Pope added. “Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others, it pays!”

Palm Sunday mass inaugurates the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the Christian liturgical calendar which culminates in Easter, next Sunday, April 12.

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This article has been updated to correct the name of the week before Easter.