To celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper, Pope Francis traveled to the Casal del Marmo juvenile prison on the outskirts of Rome. A choir sang hymns as he entered in a wheelchair.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on Jesus' act of washing the apostles' feet. He recalled that in that time it was the job of a slave. Pope Francis encouraged those in the prison telling them to be open to Jesus and not to be afraid to share their struggles with him.
Each of us can say but if the pope knew the things I have inside. Jesus knows them and loves us as we are and washes our feet. Jesus is never afraid of our weaknesses.
The Pope explained that the washing of the feet was a sign both for the apostles and the Church today. He reminded the inmates that no matter what they have done, Jesus will never leave them.
During the washing of feet, I hope that I can do the washing because I can't walk very well, but during the washing of feet, think: Jesus is washing my feet. Jesus saved me and I have this trouble now, but it will pass. But the Lord is always beside you. He will never forsake you. Never. Think about this.
Following his homily, the Pope used a cane to wash the feet of twelve inmates, including some from Senegal, Romania and Russia. He greeted them with smiles as he kissed their feet.
Pope Francis spent time talking to some of the inmates after he finished washing their feet.
After the Mass, the Pope listened to the Director of the Institute for the prison, Maria Teresa Iuliano, who expressed her gratitude for the papal visit.
Your smile for us is a very sweet caress that sustains us, emboldens us in the face of all the daily difficulties we encounter.
This is the second time the Pope has visited the Casal del Marmo on Holy Thursday. In 2013, he celebrated his first Mass of the Lord's Supper at this prison.