Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of 12 immigrants during Holy Thursday celebrations with hopes of bringing together different cultures and religions, the gesture comes two days after the attacks in Brussels that stirred anti-islam attitudes.
Francis said the attacks at the Belgium capital were an "act of war, of destruction ... by people who do not want to live in peace."
This symbolic Easter ritual of washing the feet commemorates the rite that Jesus practiced with his Apostles before his Crucifixion. This year Francis washed the feet eight men and four women; three of them were Muslim, three were Coptic Christian women from Eritrea and one was Hindu.
We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace,
Francis said before washing and kissing the feet of the migrants, some of whom were moved to tears.