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For Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will wash the feet of prisoners

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

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

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 04/06/17

Details:

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 (the most important); 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.

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