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Pope celebrates Holy Thursday in a prison and washes the feet of twelve prisoners

2017-04-13

Instead of in St. Peter's Basilica, the pope celebrated the most important Mass of the year in this chapel. It is in Paliano prison, near Rome.

Many people were in the area, and they waited in the street to greet him. 

At the door of the prison, the director of the penitentiary excitedly received him. 

The pope carried a flower to the image of the Virgin, located in the prison. 

During the Mass, as tradition states, he washed the feet of twelve people. They were not only men, but also were three women. In addition, there was also a Muslim who will be baptized in June. Two are sentenced to life in prison. 

In the homily, he explained the profound meaning of this gesture of service, usually reserved for slaves. The pope shared that Jesus wanted to set an example for all Christians.

POPE FRANCIS
"I tell you that if you can help someone, do a favor here, in prison, to a companion or a friend, do it. Because this is love, this is like the gesture of washing feet. It is to be a servant of others. During this ceremony let us think of God, of Jesus. It's not a folklore ceremony, it is a gesture to remember what Jesus has given us. After this, he took the bread and gave us His body; He took the wine, and gave us His blood. This is the love of God. Today, let us think only about the love of God."

The Paliano prison is unlike the others, because it is reserved for those who have since collaborated with justice. 

The inmates prepared gifts for the pope, like this icon.

"We have made it amongst all the detainees."

In addition, they gave the pope all of these gifts, such as vegetables from their garden, a blanket of white wool, and a policeman cap. 


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