Palm Sunday is upon us. It’s a day observed by many Christian churches, including Catholic, Protestant and the Eastern churches, to mark the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus Christ’s entry into the city of Jerusalem days before His crucifixion.

Pope Francis led Sunday’s procession at the Vatican, deciding to speak to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square about looking into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives, a speech that was given entirely off-the-cuff. For Catholics, Palm Sunday is a signal of the Lenten season nearing its end, and always is celebrated the Sunday before Easter Sunday, which officially ends Lent and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

In the Bible, all four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) recount how Palm Sunday began, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was celebrated by the people in the crowd, who used palm branches to treat Him like royalty despite being ruled by the Roman empire. John 12:12-13 gives us an idea of how the people did this: “The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the King of Israel!’”

According to this article, many churches celebrate Palm Sunday by “distribut(ing) palm leaves to congregation members who then carry them in a procession either inside or outside of the church. Often the palm fronds are knotted or woven into small crosses that can be kept by individuals in their homes as a reminder of the lessons of Holy Week.” Other churches in other parts of the world use native plants to substitute for palm leaves, if palm leaves aren’t available.

Here are some inspirational Palm Sunday Images.