Pope Francis kisses the foot of a refugee during Holy Thursday Mass at a centre near Rome.

CNS PHOTO | L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO, HANDOUT

Pope Francis kisses the foot of a refugee during Holy Thursday Mass at a centre near Rome.

April 4, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME - In a moving gesture of brotherhood and peace, Pope Francis washed the feet of several refugees, including Muslims, Hindus and Copts.

Gestures, like Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, "speak louder than words," he said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper.

The pope celebrated the March 24 Mass in the courtyard of the Centre for Asylum Seekers at Castelnuovo di Porto, about 25 kms north of Rome.

He knelt before each of the 12 people, washed each person's foot slowly and dried it.

The refugees barely contained their emotions, tears streaming down their faces as the pope bent low and kissed their feet.

A young mother wiped her tears as the pope gazed at her and reached out to touch her baby.