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Velletri Prison © Circondarialevelletri.Altervista.Org

Pope Plans Holy Thursday Service at Velletri Correctional Facility

Will Wash the Feet of 12 Detainees

On Thursday, April 18, 2019, the Holy Father Francis will visit the Velletri Correctional Facility, Rome, for the celebration of Mass “in coena Domini”.

The visit will include encounters with the detainees, civil personnel, and Penitentiary Police officers, and the Eucharistic celebration with the rite of the washing of the feet of twelve detainees.

The Holy Father will be received by the director, Maria Donata Iannantuono, the deputy director Pia Palmeri, the commander of the prison police, Maria Luisa Abbossida, and the chaplain Don Franco Diamante.

The detention center, located one hour from the capital, was opened in 1991. It consists of two four-story pavilions, with 275 cells housing approximately 550 detainees (official figures from January 2018), and a police department.

This will be the fifth time that the Argentine pope will celebrate Holy Thursday with prisoners. Every year since his election in 2013, he has broken the tradition by celebrating this liturgy characterized by the rite of foot washing and the Gospel of the commandment of love, not in Saint-Jean-du-Latran or Saint-Jean-du-Latran. Pierre, but in significant places: prison, refugee center or for people with disabilities.

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