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‘The Mother of All Holy Vigils’: Jerusalem Basilica is First Place to Announce Easter

Marinella Bandini
With the incense burned from the newly blessed fire, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, incenses the “Stone of Anointing,” located at the entrance of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, where, according to tradition, the body of Jesus was anointed and prepared with aromatic oils for burial. March 30, 2024.

The basilica was notably empty, with a clear absence of pilgrims and Christians who usually come from the Palestinian Territories for the Easter festivities.