Pope Francis has had a very busy month, with engagements related to the Easter season. The Bishop of the Catholic church will be winding down his activities during this last part of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, he led a procession to the blessing of the palm and olive branches in Saint Peter's square. He later celebrated the mass of our Lord's supper. The activities of the pontiff were not made known but he was back in action again on Thursday.

Washing of feet

On April 13th, Pope Francis observed what is called Maundy Thursday. Tradition holds that this is the night Christ ate his last supper with his closets followers, and was later arrested and condemned to death.

In honor of this day, the pope visited a maximum security prison, which houses former members of the Mafia who have turned states' evidence. The pontiff knelt, he first kissed then washed the feet of 9 men and 3 women. This gesture was symbolic of the night before the crucifixion, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Breaking tradition

Previous Pontiffs have only washed the feet of Catholic Italian men. Pope Francis has come under fire, because he has washed the feet of women and non-Catholics, including a Muslim. Pope Francis believes it is important to reach outside of the Catholic church and be of service to all. His gesture of washing feet is to emphasize humbleness and being a servant, rather than being served.

In January, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis would not increase security because of increasing terrorist attacks. The Pontiff was quoted as saying, "There is always the risk of a rash gesture by a madman, but the Lord is always there." There has been no indication that the Pope has changed his views in light of the two church bombings in Egypt.

So he obviously will continue walking by faith right through the end of the Holy Week observances.

Completing Holy week activities

On Good Friday, April 14th, the Pope attended an afternoon liturgy of The Lord's passion, in Saint Peter's Basilica. There will also be a nighttime way of the cross in Rome's Coliseum. On Saturday service will be held once again at Saint Peter's Basilica, at 8:30 p.m.

On Easter Sunday morning, an Easter Sunday mass will take place in Saint Peter's Square. This is where the Pope will give the papal blessing: "Urbi et Orbi." This has been interpreted as meaning "A blessing to Rome, and then to the world."