Pope Francis Washes Prisoners' Feet on Maundy Thursday

Pope Francis Washes Prisoners' Feet on Maundy Thursday

During Thursday's intimate service, the Pope washed

and kissed the feet of 12 young detainees to replicate the Bible's account of

Jesus Christ's gesture of humility towards his 12 apostles on the night before

he was crucified.

Pope Francis Washes Prisoners' Feet on Maundy Thursday

Italian Catholic and one of Serbian Muslim origin, local prison ombudsman

Angiolo Marroni said ahead of the ceremony.

The 12 inmates included two girls, one

their feet washed, while others were given an invitation to help them overcome

their embarrassment, the Catholic News Agency quoted the prison chaplain as saying.

Some of the prisoners volunteered to have

from different nationalities and diverse religious confessions were taking part

in Thursday's Mass at Casal del Marmo on the outskirts of Rome.

In total, around 10 girls and 40 boys

billion Roman Catholics has truly brought a new sense of simplicity to the

Vatican.

The new leader of the world's 1.2

foot-washing ceremony, which is normally performed on lay people in one of

Rome's basilicas.

He has broken with tradition for the

2007, but not for the Holy Thursday Mass. Only for the first two years of his

pontificate did he perform the feet-washing himself, after which the task was

delegated to priests.

Pope Benedict XVI visited the centre in

the calendar of the Catholic Church.

Easter is the most important festival in

carry a wooden cross and pray at a ceremony at Rome's ancient amphitheatre, the

Colosseum, commemorating Jesus' crucifixion.

On Good Friday evening the Pope will

celebrate the main Easter Vigil Mass in St Peter's Basilica.

On Saturday evening Pope Francis will

Pope will deliver his first "Urbi et Orbi" message to the city of

Rome and to the world.

And on Easter Sunday morning, the new

Wednesday, Pope Francis called for an immediate political solution to the

conflict in the Central African Republic after last weekend's coup.

During his inaugural general audience on

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