Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 16 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Bernadette Soubirous
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at prison for ex-Mafiosi

AFP PHOTO / OSSERVATORE ROMANO/HO

Pope Francis (R) kissing the feet of a young offender after washing them during a mass at the church of the Casal del Marmo youth prison on the outskirts of Rome as part of Holy Thursday. - es

Diane Montagna - published on 04/06/17

This year, the washing of the feet will include former members of the Mafia

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, on Holy Thursday, at a prison for ex-Mafiosi in Paliano, Italy, the Holy See Press Office announced today.

During the celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the pope will wash the feet of several prisoners. The visit is “strictly private,” the Holy See has said, and will not be broadcast.

According to the Italian Ministry of Justice, the prison houses 74 detainees. It is organized in three sections: one male; one female; and one that serves as a health facility — mainly for prisoners suffering from tuberculosis.

In addition to housing prisoners who are ill, the penitentiary is unique in that it holds what are called “collaborators of justice.” These prisoners are repentant, former mafia members, who have agreed to collaborate with the justice system. In exchange for their cooperation, their sentences are reduced substantially, and they are provided with security by the Italian state.

The municipality of Paliano, located in the province of Frosinone and the diocese of Palestrina, is about sixty kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Rome.

Since the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has chosen to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, on Holy Thursday, at a place marked by suffering.

In 2013, he went to a prison for minors where he included, for the first time, women and Muslims among the inmates whose feet he washed. The following year he travelled to a center for the sick and disabled, again including women among those who had their feet washed in memory of Jesus’ gesture of humility and service. And in 2015 he returned to a prison.

Last year, Pope Francis included Muslims, Hindus and Coptic Orthodox men and women in the rite of the washing of feet, at a refugee reception center located just north of Rome.

Tags:
Pope FrancisVatican
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
7
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.