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Female Juvenile Detainees Get Feet Washed by Pope

  • VOA News

Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome, March 28, 2013.

Pope Francis washes the foot of a prisoner at Casal del Marmo youth prison in Rome, March 28, 2013.

Pope Francis has washed and kissed the feet of two young women, along with 10 males, in a Holy Thursday ceremony at a juvenile detention center in Rome.

The Roman Catholic pope's Holy Thursday ritual has been traditionally limited to men, representing the 12 apostles whose feet the Bible says Jesus washed at the Last Supper before his crucifixion.

Taking the ceremony to a youth prison is also a papal first.

Previous popes have carried out the feet washing ritual at Rome's St. John Lateran basilica.

Pope Francis was installed two weeks ago. The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina took the name Francis after Saint Francis of Assisi, a humble saint who is associated with helping the poor.

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