VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper with young refugees in Castelnuovo di Porto, about 15 miles north of Rome.
“Washing the feet of the refugees, Pope Francis is asking for respect for each one of them,” wrote Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the main organizer of the Vatican’s Year of Mercy initiatives.
Announcing the location for the pope’s celebration March 24, Archbishop Fisichella noted that many of the young people at the Center for Asylum Seekers are not Catholic, which makes Pope Francis’ decision to wash their feet “even more eloquent.”
“It indicates respect as the main path to peace,” he said March 22. Respect means recognizing the other as a person, one who “walks with me, suffers with me, rejoices with me.”
“Pope Francis will bow down and wash the feet of 12 refugees as a sign of service and attention to their condition,” the archbishop said.
With tens of thousands of people fleeing persecution and violence in many parts of the world, too many countries seem to think the best solution “is to close their borders to feel safer or to build new walls,” the archbishop said.
But one of the traditional “corporal works of mercy” is to welcome the stranger, Archbishop Fisichella wrote in an article for the Vatican newspaper. “Welcoming refugees then becomes for Christians a tangible expression of living the Jubilee of Mercy.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: