POPE Francis on Thursday washed feet of twelve prisoners in an Italian jail, including a Filipino inmate.
During his visit to the Regina Coeli prison in Rome, Italy, Pope Francis washed the feet of the inmates, which included eight Catholics, two Muslims, one Orthodox Christian and one Buddhist.
The prisoners came from Colombo, Italy, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria the Philippines and Sierra Leone.
During the foot-washing ceremony, he knelt down and one by one poured water over the feet of the 12 inmates, wiped them dry and kissed them. Most of the men then embraced the pope in thanks.
This is the fourth time in the pope’s five-year papacy that Pope Francis celebrated Maundy Thursday Mass at a prison.
The rite commemorates Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with the apostles. Prior to the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, which is seen as a display of his humility and his service.
In his homily, Francis told them the ritual is meant to show his willingness to serve others “like a slave,” as Jesus did.
“Your chief must be your servant,” he said. “So often I think … how many wars would have been avoided if all those kings, emperors and heads of state had understood this teaching of Jesus rather than command and are cruel and kill people.”
He also encouraged the inmates not to let their hopes be clouded like cataracts cloud the eyes—and revealed that he suffers from the condition and has to have surgery for it next year. (RONDA Balita Online News)