Pope to wash feet of refugees on Holy Thursday

On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will spend time in Castelnuovo di Porto with young refugees who are hosted by the Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers, known as the Centro di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo, or CARA. The visit will include the celebration of the Rite of the Washing of Feet. The Pope will stoop to wash the feet of 12 refugees, most of whom will probably not be Christian, as a sign of service and attention to their situation.

On Saturday, 12 March, Pope Francis said: "By washing the feet of the Apostles, Jesus wished to reveal God's mode of action in regard to us, and to give an example of his 'new commandment' (Jn 13:34) to love one another as He has loved us, that is, laying down his life for us."

He went on to say that love "is the practical service that we offer to others. Love is not a word, it is a deed, a service; humble service, hidden and silent." Indeed, "it is expressed in the sharing of material goods, so that no one be left in need." It is, moreover, "the lifestyle that God suggests, even to non-Christians, as the authentic path of humanity."


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