In a moving ceremony that recalled how Jesus loved the world so deeply that he lowered himself to serve and died for everyone’s sins, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 prison inmates, plus a small toddler who lives with his incarcerated mother.
“Jesus loved us, Jesus loves us, but without any limits, always, all the way to the end,” he said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper April 2.
“He does not tire of loving anyone, he loves all of us” so much that he gave his life in order “to give life to us, for each one of us … for you, for you, for me, for them,” he said, pointing to the men and women inmates gathered in the “Our Father” chapel in Rome’s Rebibbia prison complex.
The pope arrived at the prison to the cheers and shouts of hundreds of prisoners chanting “Francesco” and applauding as they stood along metal barricades lining a prison courtyard.
After getting out of a blue four-door vehicle, the pope turned to a large concrete prison block behind him and waved, presumably because voices and cheers were coming from within the heavily barred windows.
He greeted, hugged, clasped hands with and kissed the scores of inmates outside lining the barricade. Many held plastic rosaries out to be blessed; others wanted just to stroke his hand or ask him to pray for someone in a picture they showed him.
Watch the video from Rome Reports below. Have a Kleenex ready.