Showing his solidary with the Muslim and refugee community, Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of Muslim, Christian and Hindu refugees on Thursday. The gesture was a re-enactment of the holy rite ritual of foot-washing which Jesus performed on his apostles prior to crucifixion. The Pope contrasted this selfless act with the “gesture of destruction” carried out by the Brussels attackers, saying that they wanted to destroy the brotherhood of humanity represented by the refugees.
As Francis knelt before the refugees, several of them wept as he poured holy water over their feet, wiping them clean and kissing them. The Vatican said that twelve people took part, including three Muslims from Mali, Syria and Pakistan.
“We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace,” the Pope stated after the ceremony.