Pope Washes And Kisses The Feet Of Prisoners, Women And Muslims

You might describe it as “Christ-like.”

1. For years as Archbishop, Pope Francis celebrated a feet-washing mass, which commemorates Christ’s washing of the disciples feet at the Last Supper.

Before he was Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio washes and kisses the feet of residents of a shelter for drug users during Holy Thursday Mass in 2008

2. Francis is continuing this tradition now that he is Pope and has decided to continue the practice at a youth prison in Rome.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

3. Thursday afternoon, 12 inmates were selected to have their feet washed and kissed by the Holy Father.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

4. The 76-year-old Francis poured water from a silver chalice over each foot…

5. …dried it with a simple cotton towel…

6. …then bent over…

7. …and kissed each prisoners feet.

8. Two young women were among the 12, the first time a pontiff has included females in the rite. Some in the church argue that the ritual be reserved for men only.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

9. According to news reports, Orthodox, Muslim and North African detainees were also included in the 12 as well as a man with tattoos on his feet.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

10. Pope Francis told the prisoners: “This is a symbol, it is a sign — washing your feet means I am at your service.”

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

The Pope continued: “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart. I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service.”

11. Previous popes have conducted the ritual, but only on other priests.

12. “Don’t lose hope,” Francis told the prisoners “With hope you can always go on.”

Tony Gentile / Reuters

13. And the world says: Well Done Pope.

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