Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 immigrants of different religious and cultural backgrounds during Holy Thursday celebrations, hoping to bring together different religions and cultures in a gesture that comes two days after the Brussels attacks stirred anti-Islam attitudes.
The traditional Easter Week foot-washing ceremony by the pontiff is meant as a Catholic gesture of service.
“All of us together: Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals … all brothers and children of the same God,” the pontiff said during a Mass before the foot washing ceremony. “We want to live together in peace.”
This year, Francis officially decreed that women would be included in the ceremony from here on out.