Madhya Pradesh: Catholic Priest Rides Donkey on Palm Sunday, Surprises Parishioners

Published 27 March 2018  |
Fr Thomas Rajamanikam rides on a donkey in Indore on Palm Sunday, in an enactment of biblical account of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem.

In an enactment of biblical account of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem, a priest rode a donkey at St Joseph Parish in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on March 25 during a Palm Sunday procession.

Fr Thomas Rajamanikam of the Indore Diocese mounted on a donkey as his parishioners, some boys and young men waved palm branches and sang hymns to Jesus.

He told ucanews that by enacting Palm Sunday his purpose was to help people understand the humble life Jesus lived.

"We are now after luxuries and comforts with even the Christian charity missing. Jesus chose to travel on a donkey when he could have afforded a horse. It should inspire us to lead a simple life," he said.

The procession on a donkey was a first time experience to many.

Kanti Kumrawat, a grandmother and parishioner, said she never heard of any other parish in the vicinity having commemorated the event so realistically.

She has "never seen any priest riding on the back of a donkey. This needs extraordinary humility," said the woman, who is a resident in the Hindu dominant state where Christians are less than one percent of the 73 million people.

As the priest on a donkey attracted many children, they were interested to know about the story too.

Kumtrawat's grandson, Abhinav Kumtrawat said he is used to see donkeys carrying stones and bricks but never humans.

"The priest clothed in vestments sitting on a donkey made me giggle. But my grandma told me the story," he said.

Kumrawat said the "live depiction" helped her and other grandmothers to explain the "story of Palm Sunday" in better way story to their grandchildren.


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