Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Pope Francis greets an inmate as he washes the feet of prisoners during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper at a prison in Civitavecchia, Italy, April 14, 2022. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN (CNS) -- Pope Francis will continue his custom of celebrating Holy Thursday Mass in a prison during Holy Week 2024, the Vatican said.

In a statement released March 6, the Vatican announced that the pope will visit the women’s prison at the Rebibbia correctional facility in Rome March 28 to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper with people housed there and those who work at the facility, keeping with a custom he has practiced since the start of his pontificate.

He had celebrated the Mass with male and female prisoners at the Rebibbia complex in 2015 as well, washing the feet of 12 inmates and a toddler. The prison’s maternity section allows incarcerated mothers to keep their children with them until they are 3 years old.

Last year, Pope Francis visited a juvenile detention facility where he washed, dried and kissed the feet of 12 people.

The ceremony of washing another’s feet -- which follows the Gospel account of Jesus washing the feet of his 12 disciples -- “is not something folkloric,” the pope said during Holy Thursday Mass in 2023. It is a gesture that shows “how we are to be with one another.”

Pope Francis has celebrated Mass at a prison, care facility or refugee center since becoming pope in 2013, while his recent predecessors customarily washed the feet of priests in St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. In 2016, the pope ordered the then-Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments to clarify that the feet of both women and men can be washed at the Holy Thursday Mass.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

In this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” hosts Colleen Dulle and Gerard O’Connell bring you inside the G7 summit and Pope Francis' meeting with comedians.
Inside the VaticanJune 20, 2024
A Homily for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Father Terrance Klein
Terrance KleinJune 20, 2024
Pope Francis and a nine member Council of Cardinals heard presentations from women experts on the role of women in the church through the lens of canon law.
Ultimately, it is up to each of us to prayerfully discern the individual contribution we can make. Guided by our faith and Catholic social teaching, we can do our part to support a just peace in Israel-Palestine.