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Pope To Visit Rome Jail To Perform Pre-Easter Feet-Washing Ritual

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 18: Pope Francis leads the Way of The Cross at the Colosseum on April 18, 2014 in Rome, Italy. The Way of the Cross is a centuries-old and much beloved devotion, that began as a sort of spiritual pilgrimage to the places and scenes and events of Christ's passion for those who could not make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land in person, as well as for those who had made it and wished to relive their experience, and for those who were preparing for the journey. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Pope Francis would perform the pre-Easter washing of the feet ritual in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

The ritual recalls the gesture that Jesus is believed to have performed for the 12 apostles before the Last Supper, to show that the man they saw as their leader was capable of the most humble act.

On March 29, Holy Thursday, Francis would visit the prison infirmary, wash the feet of 12 prisoners, and meet with some more inmates, a statement said.

The Regina Coeli prison is in the central Trastevere district and is mostly used for pretrial detention.

A former convent, it has more than 900 inmates, according to the Italian Ministry of Justice.

In 2017, Francis washed feet in a prison outside Rome for Mafia turncoats.

Previously, he performed the ceremony in a juvenile prison, a center for the disabled, a high-security jail and a refugee center.

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