Reports: Pope Francis to wash feet of refugees in pre-Easter ritual

Pope Francis will next week perform the pre-Easter ritual of the washing of feet in a Roman refugee centre, reports said Monday.

The Italian ANSA news agency and Il Sismografo, a papal news blog, released the information, which was not confirmed by the Vatican.

The washing of the feet, performed on Holy Thursday, recalls the gesture performed by Jesus on the twelve apostles before the Last Supper.

Previous popes used to wash the feet of cardinals at the Vatican, but Francis, who seeks to renew the Catholic Church's missionary spirit, has broken with tradition since being elected in 2013.

In the past three years, the ritual has been staged in a centre for young offenders, in a hospice for the elderly and disabled, and in a prison.

Holy Thursday falls this year on March 24. It takes place three days before Easter, the most important Christian festival, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Last update: Mon, 14/03/2016 - 19:06

More from Europe

Northern Irish court dismisses first legal challenges to Brexit

A court in Northern Ireland on Friday dismissed the first legal challenges to Britain's plans to leave the European...

Survey: German entrepreneurs want to expand business in Russia

Despite recession and sanctions, German companies want to expand their businesses in Russia, according to a recent...

Sweden denies Assange temporary leave to attend funeral

A request by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for temporary leave to attend a funeral for a close associate in...

OPEC meets in Vienna to discuss possible freeze on production

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) met Friday in Vienna for talks about a possible...

Midwife sentenced to 15 years for trying to kill pregnant women

A 35-year-old midwife was found guilty Friday of seven counts of attempted murder and handed 15 years in prison for...