Two young women and two Muslims were among 12 people whose feet Pope Francis washed and kissed at a traditional ceremony in a Rome youth prison on Holy Thursday, the first time a pontiff has included females in the rite.
The pope traveled to the Casal del Marmo prison on Rome's outskirts for the traditional Mass, which commemorates Jesus's gesture of humility towards his apostles the night before he died.
The ritual involved Pope Francis reciting a prayer for Christians in the region and for his "Muslim brothers," AFP reported.
The ceremony has been traditionally limited to men because all of Jesus' apostles were male. The Vatican spokesman said two of the 12 whose feet were washed were Muslim inmates.
While the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio included women in the rite when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, it was the first time women had taken part in a papal Holy Thursday ceremony.