RELIGION

Pope Francis Will Wash Feet Of Elderly, People With Disabilities On Maundy Thursday

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis kisses the foot of an inmate at the juveni
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis kisses the foot of an inmate at the juvenile detention center of Casal del Marmo, Rome, Thursday, March 28, 2013. Francis washed the feet of a dozen inmates at the juvenile detention center in a Holy Thursday ritual that he celebrated for years as archbishop and is continuing now that he is pope. Two of the 12 were young women, an unusual choice given that the rite re-enacts Jesus' washing of the feet of his male disciples. The Mass was held in the Casal del Marmo facility in Rome, where 46 young men and women currently are detained. Many of them are Gypsies or North African migrants, and the Vatican said the 12 selected for the rite weren't necessarily Catholic. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

On April 17, 2014, Pope Francis will visit the Centro Santa Maria della Provvidenza Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi home and wash the feet of the residents, many of whom are elderly and have disabilities.

The ritual will happen on Maundy Thursday, which remembers the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. The foot-washing ritual is rooted in the story of the Last Supper, when Jesus humbles himself and washes the feet of his apostles prior to their Passover meal.

Shortly after being elected, Pope Francis made headlines when he washed the feet of two women at a Rome youth prison, a sharp departure from the foot-washing of 12 priests during a Mass in Rome's St. John Lateran Basilica.

Pope Francis has shown particular care towards those with disabilities and the elderly. In November, he greeted hundreds of people in wheelchairs one by one, lamenting that society tends to "hide physical fragility."

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