Vatican News

How the Pope washed feet in a women’s prison in Rome

The foot washing mass was held in the women’s prison of Rebibbia, near Rome.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City – Rome, 03.30.2024).- On the afternoon of Holy Thursday, Pope Francis traveled to the women’s prison of Rebibbia in Rome to celebrate the Holy Mass in the Lord’s Supper and to meet with the inmates and staff of the facility.

Upon his arrival, after greeting everyone waiting for him outside, the Pope presided over the Mass, concelebrated with the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations and Director of the Pontifical Musical Chapel, Monsignor Diego Giovanni Ravelli. Alongside the inmates, there was a representation of the officials and staff of the penitentiary center.

Following the proclamation of the Holy Gospel, Pope Francis delivered an impromptu homily.

Subsequently, as is customary, Pope Francis repeated the gesture of Jesus during the Last Supper when the Lord washed the feet of his disciples, to 12 inmates of different nationalities. It is the first time that the 12 individuals are only women.

At the end of the Holy Mass, the Director of the Penitentiary Center, Dr. Nadia Fontana, addressed words of gratitude to the Pope and offered as a gift a basket of products grown on the farm inside the Penitentiary Center, a rosary, and two stoles made in the workshops of jewelry and sewing by the inmates themselves. Pope Francis, in turn, presented a painting of the image of the Virgin Mary, a giant Easter egg, and, for a child, a Kinder egg (the child is the son of one of the inmates).

Subsequently, the Pope left the prison and returned to the Vatican.

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