Francis Washes and Kisses the Feet of Female Prisoners in Rome’s Prison

In his homily, the Pontiff spoke about the foot-washing ceremony, an episode in which Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself before His apostles, showing that He came to serve and teaching the path of service to His disciples. Francis also spoke about Judas’s betrayal, highlighting how money and selfishness can do harm.

Rome – Italy (03/28/2024 15:26, Gaudium Press) On the afternoon of this Holy Thursday, March 28, Pope Francis visited the Rebibbia Women’s Penitentiary, located in Rome. At the site, which accommodates 360 women and a child, the Holy Father celebrated the Holy Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which opens the Easter Triduum.

In his homily, the Pontiff spoke about the foot-washing ceremony, an episode in which Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself before His apostles, showing that He came to serve and teaching the path of service to His disciples. Francis also spoke about Judas’s betrayal, highlighting how money and selfishness can do harm.

“Jesus forgives everything. Jesus always forgives. He only asks that we ask for forgiveness. Let us ask the Lord today for the grace to not grow tired. Always, all of us have small failures, big failures – each one has their own story. But the Lord always waits for us, with open arms, and never tires of forgiving,” he assured.

He then announced that he would wash the feet of twelve detainees, repeating the gesture of Our Lord Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. “It is a gesture that draws attention to the vocation of service. Let us ask the Lord to make us all grow in the vocation of service.” He then moved in a wheelchair to the detainees who were already properly positioned and began to wash and kiss the feet of each one.

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The detainees were visibly moved and touched by the Pontiff’s gesture. They were between 40 and 50 years old and came from Bulgaria, Nigeria, Ukraine, Russia, Peru, Venezuela, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Italy itself. After the end of the celebration, the prison’s director thanked the Pope for his visit. Francis received the following gifts from the detainees: a large basket with agricultural products grown by the women themselves in the prison garden and a rosary, made of crochet and pearls, produced in the necklace workshop. (EPC)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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