The Pope’s ritual where he washes and kisses the feet of twelve men, took place at a center for asylum seekers just outside Rome, confirms the Vatican.

There, he washed and kissed the feet of twelve young asylum seekers to show the international community the importance of providing refugees shelter, said an official in the Vatican.

– It was simple, but expressive, says Archbishop Rino Fisichella on a visit to Castelnuovo di Porto, located 30 kilometers north of Rome.

The ritual Thursday commemorates how Jesus humbly washed the disciples’ feet the night before he died. Previous Popes have washed the feet of the cardinals at the Vatican, but Francis has broken with this tradition since he was elected in 2013. He has held the ritual in a center for young criminals, in a nursing home for the elderly, and in a prison.

Pope Francis has repeatedly asked Europe to open its doors to refugees, and at the Palm Sunday Mass, he asked the world not to turn its back on people in need.

Easter is the year’s liturgical highlight of the Catholic Church, and the week is busy for Pope. As head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, he will attend all Easter ceremonies, writes Rome Reports.


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