Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 prisoners in a gesture of service towards the marginalized on Thursday, April 13. The Pope made the gesture at a prison about 72km from Rome where he held the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. Among the 12 prisoners were three women and a Muslim converting to Catholicism.
Speaking during the Mass, the Pope said this about Jesus Christ: "He came into this world to serve, to serve us. He came to make himself a slave for us, to give his life for us and to love us to the end." He added that his gesture aims to "sow love among us" and that Catholic and Christian faithfuls, including those in prison, can emulate Christ in the same way. He urged the inmates to always be in the service or help of another in the same way Jesus Christ came to be in the service of humanity. In a statement, the Vatican said two of the 12 prisoners are serving life imprisonment while the others are serving varying sentences. The Holy Thursday Mass liturgies are usually the precursor to the Easter religious festivities.