Video: Pope Washes, Kisses Feet of 12 Young Ones, Including Two Girls

You’ve been hearing about it today — the fact that Pope Francis would conduct Holy Thursday Mass at the juvenile penitentiary of Casal del Marmo, a facility for incarcerated youth. Here is video footage of the moment. I for simply can’t watch this without becoming emotional.

While you watch this, consider these words spoken on Vatican Radio by Benedictine Abbott, Timothy Wright, spiritual director at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome:

Washing feet is a very menial task. A sign of the host welcoming the guest. A sign of recognition saying “you are important to me”. You are important to me because of who you are, not because of what you have done for me. You are important to me not because you are a sinner or a saint, but because in you there is the unique presence of God. And that is why I am showing to you that this is my service of you, my 12 apostles – and one of you is going to betray me – no matter, I will wash your feet because you are going to be the leaders, and it is you who then have to wash other people’s feet. Service is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. My service is to die and to rise and give new life. Your service is to go forward and to wash people’s feet to show this is the love that really counts…

I believe twelve lives were changed forever today, and countless others have been touched by the sincerity of such a simple act.

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

  • Alison

    A true servant of the people of God.

    He is vested so simply and wearing his deacon’s stole so fittingly. He has enacted the diakonia more than any bishop I have ever seen before.

  • Alison

    A true servant of the people of God.

    He is vested so simply and wearing his deacon’s stole so fittingly. He has enacted diakonia more than any bishop I have ever seen before.

  • Anthony Akpan

    Pope Francis has again demonstrated his ability to bring the gospel to a lost world through practical christianity. May God bless and keep him. Amen.

  • Yae

    Here is one article in which his actions done with so much love and charity seem to have borne fruit.
    Praised be God!
    Letters from prison
    I am going to be sharing this article with my own brothers and relatives who have been incarcerated in the hopes that it will move them to seek Christ and return to the faith.
    I am sad though to read so much negative remarks with regards to this brave act of charity on the part of our Holy Father. It is disconcerting but I will keep praying and trusting in Divine Providence. Viva Papa Francis!

  • Yae

    Just wanted to tell you I like your blog as I sense joy and calm from you, Lisa. I want to be in unity with folks who love Papa Francis as I am scandalized and sad and tired of reading so many negative comments, on other blogs, about him. I remain grateful and hopeful for his papacy and do want that to be tarnished by so much negativity. I will include all in my prayers but wanted to say thank you for your joy and for sharing it with the rest of us.

    WWPFD? Well, I plan to put my self at the service of others by applying to become a volunteer with the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus here in Southern California. I am going to dedicate my efforts for Papa Francis’s intentions and in thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus for having gifted the Church with him.

    May you and yours have a wonderful and blessed Easter.

  • dominic

    More important than the liturgical statement Pope Francis may have intended to telegraph is that, in doing so, he may have overlooked, neglected, or disregarded, if not violated Muslim law.according to the Code of Ethics for Muslim Men and Women—Rules Related to Socializing:

    The Rules of Touching

    193 – Rule: Body contact is not allowed with one who it is not allowed to look at, and every kind of touching of the body to any part of the other one’s body is haram and one must refrain from this; unless it from on top of the clothing and it is without the intention of lust. ABGKLMS
    While the Pope may have intended this particular footwashing to be “a positive sign” in the life of the Serbian Muslim inmate whose foot he washed, strict Muslims may take offense.

    Like Pope Benedict XVI, it may not be long before Pope Francis finds himself being challenged by an Imam who issues a fatwa. In October 2006,Prominent Jamaat leader Hafiz Saifullah Khalid said that in the present circumstances, jihad has become obligatory for each Muslim. Muslims are being declared terrorists and our battle for survival has already started.

    Eschewing protocol can be refreshing and prove reinvigorating. It can be a sign of love and respect, fulfilling the spirit of the law” rather than living according to the “letter of the law.”

    In retrospect, it can also cause unintended problems.In retrospect, it can also cause unintended problems.