Pope Francis Honors Holy Thursday Tradition, Washing Feet of 12 Young People

The Last Supper

The celebration of the Holy Thursday came as pope Honors this holy day by following a tradition of washing the feet of 12 young people.

Pope Francis has decided to hold the mass of the Lord's Supper with the washing of feet ritual in a penitentiary institute. The pope has chosen to visit the Casal del Marmo confinement for minors located on the outskirts of Rome.

The Tradition of Washing of Feet of 12 People Performed by the Pope

The gesture of washing of the feet symbolizes the pope's solidarity with these young inmates. It becomes a sign of acceptance for them as they are being rejected and abandoned by society for what they have done to become imprisoned. According to Vatican News, Father Raffaele Grimaldi has expressed his affection for the pope's closeness to those people who are rejected and dubbed as the "problem" of society, such as criminals.

He added that Pope Francis' visit to the facility after a ten-year absence demonstrates his extraordinary compassion for the prisoners and reflects his desire to encourage society, institutions, and policymakers to prioritize social integration, education, and positive role models. Fr. Grimaldi hopes that everyone should make these gestures of the pope as an inspiration, welcoming everyone despite what the person is.

Cleveland 19 reported that Pope Francis compared the foot-washing ritual to the one Jesus performed during the Last Supper before his crucifixion. The pope stressed that Jesus washed the feet of all of his apostles, knowing what they were vulnerable from. Of the 12 prisoners, some are minors, while the others became adults serving their sentences.

They included a Muslim from Senegal and people from Romania, Russia, and Croatia. According to the pope, foot washing is more than simply folklore; it also symbolizes how people should interact with one another. He voiced his sadness at society's current state, characterized by injustice and unpleasant things. He also stated that anyone could fall from grace and that washing one's feet represents the honor of being a sinner. He urged people to assist one another and improve life.

Also Read: Exploring the Spiritual Significance of Fasting During Ramadan, Lent, and Other Holy Days 

Acceptance and Solidarity Among the Rejected

The pope reminded the inmates that every people could be tempted and fall victim to society's bad influences, and with the help of the grace of God, we can be redirected to the right path. In the article in CBCP News, Francis has made it a tradition to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass with the imprisoned, and his very first mass appointed as the pope was at Casal del Marmo prison. The juvenile detention center harbors almost 50 young people from different races, countries, backgrounds, and religions.

More than 1,800 priests attended a chrism Mass at St. Peter's Basilica earlier on Thursday, and Pope Francis presided over it. He thanked the priests for their excellent work, which is frequently done in secret. Despite recently becoming unwell and being admitted to the hospital, he was nevertheless expected to preside over a busy schedule of liturgies and services during Holy Week.

Related Article: Holy Week Traditions and Practices Around the World