The Significance of the Holy Palm

I am writing this article post the Lenten period because it has a very high significance even outside the Lenten period. It is important for all to know the importance of Holy Palms and why was it used. Also, I will be sharing my own experience of the holy palm and its healing touch.

In Christianity, the palm branch is associated particularly with Palm Sunday, when according to Christian tradition palm branches were waved at the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It was adopted into Christian iconography to represent the victory of martyrs, or the victory of the spirit over the flesh.

The Sunday before Easter, often called Palm Sunday, is a reminder of Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. As He rode a donkey into the city, crowds scattered palm branches along Jesus’ path (Matt. 21:6–11).

Many people think that palm branches were used because there were so many palm trees in that region, but there were other reasons for choosing them. The palm branch was the emblem of Judea and appeared on the coins of the land, symbolizing one of the country’s riches. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the trees were in bloom, so in covering the way with palm branches, the people were offering a symbol of great value and luxury.

But palms were a symbol of necessity, too. To the Jews, palm branches represented a gift from God because of their many uses in the people’s lives. The palm was so important that when countries in the area went to war, they cut away the enemy’s palm branches, causing their enemy to suffer from the loss of food and other necessities.

This important tree had many different varieties, ranging in height from less than 3 meters to more than 30 meters. The date palm supplied dates, of course. The coconut palm supplied both coconut and coconut milk. The sap of the sugar palm was dried, beaten, and ground into very fine sugar. Its leaves could also be boiled and used as a vegetable. The trunk of the sago palm was ground into flour and made into unleavened bread.

Palm trees had almost no waste parts. Their coarse fiber was used to make brooms, mats, and baskets; their fine fiber was used to make sewing thread; and their heaviest fiber was used to make strong ropes. Palm oils have been made into both butter and soap.

Fine bowls, cooking utensils, even tools were made from coconut shells. Some palm wood does not easily rot and was especially good for making boats.

The seeds of palms were boiled into a medicinal drink or were dried and eaten like nuts. If they were allowed to dry a long time, they became hard and transparent and made durable beads and trinkets. The palm’s yellowish-white flowers were made into perfume. Women wore the lovely, waxy flowers as decorative headdresses.

My wife was once suffering from a very bad viral with severe chest congestion. As I was praying for her, a thought of praying with a holy palm over her came to my mind.I did ask her to stand in front of the main altar at home and I recited “The Apostle’s Creed”, placing the holy palm on her head.

As I prayed over her, I could feel a strong faith growing within me. I knew there was healing in the holy palm. It was a matter of a few hours after we prayed, my wife started to feel much better and by next day morning she was completely healed.

After that experience of healing, we have begun to use the holy palm more often in time of sickness, at the entrance of our house, in our vehicles and in every difficult situation we face, especially on our little children.

Strewing palm branches at Jesus’ feet, then, was a symbol of the giving up of worldly goods, both necessities and luxuries. The people loved and honored Jesus, and they showed their love and honor by lining His path with something very important to them.

This is a small testimony on the holy palm and for us to understand what a powerful and triumphant weapon Jesus has given us.

Avinash Savio