Pope Francis kisses prisoners’ feet at Rome’s Regina Coeli Prison. March 29, 2018. / Vatican Media.
Vatican City, Apr 13, 2022 / 10:15 am (CNA).
On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at a prison outside of Rome, where he will wash the feet of 12 prisoners.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will take place at the prison of Civitavecchia, a port town around 50 miles northwest of Rome, according to a press release from an Italian association of prison chaplains.
With the private Mass, Pope Francis continues a custom he started in 2013, shortly after becoming pope, of celebrating the Holy Thursday liturgy in a prison or juvenile detention center.
Father Raffaele Grimaldi, a representative of Italy’s prison chaplains, said: “We are grateful to the Holy Father for having chosen, once again, an existential periphery, a place of proximity, to send the world a message of closeness and hope.”
“To wash the feet of 12 prisoners, bending himself before their poverty and their weaknesses, to wash the feet of those who have walked streets of violence, trampling on the rights of the innocent, for us prison workers signifies a humble, incomprehensible, and shocking gesture, which Jesus the Good Shepherd has entrusted to humanity,” the chaplain said.
The Civitavecchia prison has around 500 inmates.