VATICAN CITY, April 17 (UPI) -- Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper amongst the elderly and disabled on Thursday evening.
The Holy Father chose the Don Gnocchi Center in Rome's Casal del Marmo area as the location for the Holy Thursday evening service.
Vatican Radio explained the importance of the Holy Thursday celebration:
"The Mass of Our Lords Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and Christ’s mandate to the Apostles -- the first ordained bishops and priests -- to be at the service of God’s people. A moment that symbolizes this service is the Mandatum -- or washing of the feet of twelve people. "
Pope Francis will wash the feet of 12 people who benefited from the Don Gnocchi Foundation in overcoming obstacles and marginalization related to their age or disability, the Vatican announced.
Fr. Frederico Lombardi, the press office director for the Holy See, said that the 12 will include nine Italians, a Muslim from Libya, a young man from Cape Verde, and an Ethiopian woman.
Last year, the pope celebrated the Mass of the Lord's Supper at a Youth Detention Center, where he washed the feet of young prison inmates.