International News

Pope Francis to wash the feet of migrants on Holy Thursday

Wednesday 23 March 2016


AFTER SPENDING previous years washing the feet of inmates and disabled persons on Holy Thursday, this year Pope Francis will celebrate the liturgy in a welcoming centre for migrants and refugees. 

The Pope will say a Chrism Mass at the Vatican before heading to the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers, or CARA, in Castelnuovo di Porto, just over 18 miles outside of Rome, on the afternoon of Holy Thursday. 

He will arrive to the centre around 5pm, where he will say the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and wash the feet of 12 migrants welcomed by the centre, many of whom are not Catholic. 

In previous years Pope Francis has offered the Lord’s Supper Mass on Holy Thursday at a youth detention centre, a rehabilitation centre for the disabled, and a large prison in Rome. This marks the first year he will celebrate the liturgy at a migrant centre. 

More than 900 asylum seekers are housed at the centre, virtually all of whom come from sub-Saharan Africa. CARA is one of the most demanding asylum centres in all of Italy.

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