Pope Francis washes women’s feet in prison on Holy Thursday

Pope Francis washes women’s feet in prison on Holy Thursday

Pope Francis visited Rome prison where he washed and kissed the feet of 12 women on Holy Thursday, March 28.

The Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony is a hallmark of every Holy Week in Easter.

Pope Francis recalled the foot-washing that Jesus performed on his 12 apostles during the last supper together before he was crucified.

During the mass, he washed the feet of the 12 female prisoners present.

The women present were of “different nationalities,” the Vatican News said.

The Holy Thursday ritual is meant to emphasize the need for service and humility.

This was the first time Pope Francis had dedicated his annual ritual during the Holy Week solely to women.

The 87-year-old performed the ritual from his wheelchair.

The women sat on stools enabling the pope to move down the line with ease from his wheelchair.

“We all have our small or big failures — everyone has their own story. But the Lord always awaits us, with his arms open, and never tires of forgiving,” the Holy Father added.

In years past, Francis has traveled to prisons and other facilities in and around Rome to wash the feet of marginalized individuals.

Pope Francis seemed energized by his visit to the Rebibbia prison, where he was given a basket of vegetables grown in the prison garden as well as two liturgical stoles embroidered by the inmates.

On Friday, he is due to travel at night to the Colosseum for the Way of the Cross procession re-enacting Christ’s crucifixion.

On Saturday, he will preside over an evening Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica.

He will later lead Easter Sunday Mass in the piazza and his big noontime speech highlighting global conflicts and disasters afflicting humanity.

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