Pope Francis Breaks Tradition: Washes the Feet of a Young Muslim Woman on Holy Thursday

Posted on March 28, 2013

Pope Francis broke with tradition today by washing and kissing the feet of a young Muslim woman. The foot washing ritual is a standard event for Holy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. But most popes have a cardinal do the actual washing and kissing. Not this pope. He washed the feet of 12 inmates, two of whom were women. One woman was a Catholic, one was a Muslim. Normally no women's feet are washed in the ritual, and conservative Catholics were a bit shocked. But Pope Francis prays to the Virgin Mary openly and is pretty hard headed about what he wants to do. And really, who is going to tell him he can't wash women's feet if he wants to?

In his speech he explained the tradition which demonstrated humility and kindness towards those in trouble. He said that we must all be of service to one another. We can't even imagine what conservative Muslims thought of his gesture. Take a look: