NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A procession down Broadway led by a miniature donkey marked Palm Sunday before Easter.

Hundreds of people carrying palm fronds walked from St. Paul’s Chapel near the World Trade Center to Trinity Church at the top of Wall Street.

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Drummers, chanting singers and priests marked the Biblical description of Jesus entering Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion.

Palm Sunday

A processional is held in lower Manhattan on March 20, 2016, in observance of Palm Sunday. (credit: Roger Stern/1010 WINS)

But the star of the Palm Sunday procession appeared to be a miniature donkey named Diego. Jesus is said to have ridden into Jerusalem on a donkey’s back to start what is now called Holy Week.

Meanwhile at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cardinal Timothy Dolan blessed palms as he celebrated Mass.

“He is like a palm tree. Yes, at times, he will bend to the earth as he falls under the weight of the cross, but he will get back up,” Dolan said.

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The palms are generally kept by Catholics throughout the year. The palms will be burned next year before Ash Wednesday and be used as ashes.

CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported Sunday Dolan’s homily explained the strength and significance of the palm, and Jesus’ journey to death and resurrection.

“These can be woven into a number of crafts and things and displayed on a crucifix. And people who couldn’t be with me here today, I will give them as a souvenir and remembrance of my time here,” Rick Wirsich of the Netherlands told CBS2.

“It’s about really paying respects to the ultimate sacrifice that represents your entire beliefs system,” Hannah Rose of Austin, Texas, told CBS2.

“It’s a rite of passage in the Catholic tradition, and we certainly take part in it,” added Mary Gallagher, of Cranford, New Jersey.

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