Pope Francis plans to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Casal del Marmo detention center for minors in Rome on Holy Thursday.
News of the upcoming March 28 Mass was announced today by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office.
“As is known, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is characterized by the announcement of the Commandment of Love and the gesture of the washing of the feet,” Fr. Lombardi said.
“In his ministry as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the then Cardinal Bergoglio usually celebrated the Mass in a prison, a hospital, or a hospice for the poor or marginalized people. With the celebration at Casal del Marmo, Pope Francis continues such use, which should be characterized in a context of simplicity.”
It will be Francis’ first visit to a prison since his papal election. Thus he will follow in the steps of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
John Paul II visited the same correctional institution in 1980. Fr. Lombardi also noted that Benedict XVI visited the Institute of Casal del Marmo on March 18th, 2007, where he celebrated Mass in the Chapel of the “Merciful Father”.