Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass with inmates

Francis will carry out the traditional washing of the feet ritual at Velletri Correctional Facility near Rome

Pope Francis washes a person's foot during Holy Thursday Mass in March 2013. Photo: EPA/Osservatore Romano/MaxPPP

Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper with inmates near Rome.

The Mass includes the foot-washing ritual conducted on Holy Thursday, one that commemorates the Gospel narrative of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper.

The pope will celebrate the Mass and the foot-washing ritual at the Velletri Correctional Facility, 36 miles south of Rome on April 18, the Vatican announced April 3.

In 2013, Pope Francis gave a new meaning to this ritual when he washed the feet of many “broken ones” on the margins of society. That included women and people of other faiths.

The late-afternoon visit will include a meeting with prisoners, prison staff, police, and local leaders.

The pope is to wash the feet of 12 prisoners, the Vatican said.

Francis has made it a tradition of his pontificate to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass with people who could not come to the Vatican.

During his first year as pope in 2013, he chose a juvenile detention facility to celebrate Holy Thursday. In 2014, he washed the feet of people with severe physical disabilities at a rehabilitation center.

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