During the Mass of the Lord’s Supper of Holy Thursday, officiated by Pope Francisco at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome, the Supreme Pontiff washed the feet of twelve young inmates.
“Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart,” said Bergoglio, and stressed: “I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service”.
Imitating what Jesus did with the twelve apostles, Francisco washed the feet of two women, one Catholic and one Muslim, besides young Italians, North Africans, Slavs and one Ecuadorian.
The Bishop of Rome washed the feet on his knees, then dried them and kissed them. During the exchange of peace, he kissed the twelve kids. He also personally gave the communion.
This was the first time a Pope officiates the Holy Thursday Mass in a prison and not in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The teenagers gave Francis a crucifix and a wooden pew, made by them in the craft workshop of the Casal del Marmo, while the Pope gave them traditional “Easter eggs” and “Paloma Pascual”, sweets eaten in Italy over Easter.