Christians around the world are celebrating Easter, the holiest day of the year.
A crowded filled St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday morning, with all eyes and ears on Pope Francis as he leads Easter Mass.
Sunday marks the end of a 40-day lent period of reflection. It’s a time to celebrate with family and in prayer.
Vatican City felt more somber on Saturday night. The pope led a candlelit ceremony to symbolize darkness after the crucifixion of Christ, with flames serving as a reflection of resurrection. His homily called on the faithful not to look away from the poor, immigrant, elderly and lonely.
“We believe that tomorrow morning the feast will celebrate, and that we anticipate already at this vigil Jesus rose from the dead,” he said.
A heightened police presence outside the cathedral did not go unnoticed to Christians last night nor during the past week of ceremonies. But fear of threat has deterred few from showing their faith.
“No fear, no fear. You can’t let that stop you from celebrating life, celebrating Easter,” one parishioner said.
Sunday those Easter celebrations will also include the annual Easter bonnet parade, where fashionistas can show off their most extravagant, often handmade, Easter hats.