The intense schedule of Pope Francis on Good Friday: the celebration of the Passion of the Lord in Saint Peter and the Via Crucis in the Colosseum

Pope Francis celebrates the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday in St. Peter’s Basilica (REMO CASILLI / File) (REMO CASILLI /)

He Pope Francisco leads the celebration of the Passion of the Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica. In Holy FridayWhen Catholics commemorate the Calvary and death of Jesus of Nazareth, the Supreme Pontiff traditionally meditates before the tomb of the apostle.

Its about the only day of the liturgical calendar on which mass is not celebrated and, therefore, the Pope and his clergy they limit themselves to listening and reflecting on the homily of the Vatican preacher.

Already by the Roman night, will preside over the Via Crucis at the Colosseuma symbol of the persecution of the first Christians, a rite that had been suspended due to the pandemic and that last year already took place with the war in Ukraine as a worrying backdrop.

This Thursday, Francisco returned to the prison where 10 years ago he began the rite of the mass “in coena domini”, in which every Holy Thursday he washes the feet of twelve prisoners as a memory of the gesture that Jesus had with his twelve apostles before being crucified.

The pontiff went to the Casa del Marmo in Romea juvenile prison located on the outskirts of Rome, where after his homily, in which he encouraged the faithful to help each other, got up from his wheelchair to wash and kiss the feet of ten men and two women.

Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates
The Pope washed the feet of 12 inmates this Holy Thursday

Francisco, who was discharged last Saturday after having been admitted to the Gemelli hospital for three days due to bronchitis, could not kneel but still made the gesture standing up and without help.

The twelve young inmates, for their part, awaited the arrival of the Pope sitting on a loft. Among them were ten boys -five of legal age and five minors- and two girls -one of legal age and one minor-.

As detailed by the Holy See, two young people were of gypsy origin, another Croatian, another Romanian, another Russian and another Senegalese and Muslim.

It is striking that Jesus, just the day before he was crucified, had this gesture to wash his feet. Then it was a custom to do it before entering the house, but it was a slave job”, he told all of them and the hundred people gathered in the prison chapel.

Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 inmates
Francisco kisses the foot of one of the inmates

I will make the same gesture, but it is not a folkloric thing, it is a gesture that says how we have to be with others”, he explained before encouraging them to help each other “because life is more beautiful that way”.

Francisco already celebrated the rite in the same prison a decade ago, in 2013, the year of his pontifical election. Since then, He has gone through several prisons in all the Holy Week celebrations except in 2020 and 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year he resumed the tradition in a private mass of which only a few photos were released, but, nevertheless, this time the Vatican recorded and broadcast the entire mass.

Jesus knows everything and loves us. And he washes our feet all. He is not afraid of our weaknesses, because he has already paid for us, he just wants to take us by the hand so that life is not so hard”, pointed out Francisco, who delivered the homily, while the Eucharist was led by Cardinal Diego Ravelli.

after the mass, Francisco shared a few minutes with the inmateswho gave him a cross made in a carpentry course, as well as some cookies and a package of pasta, both made in the center’s kitchens, the Holy See indicated.

For her part, the director of the prison, Maria Teresa Iuliano, thanked the pope for his visit: “You disarm us with your immense sweetness and lead us to what is essential,” she told him.

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