Vatican City – Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, for over 1,000 prison inmates, in one of the final events of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Report said the 11-month festival that would be wrapped up in two weeks, witnessed 35 inmates flown in from Spain, and others were Italian, British, Latvian and Malagasy.
The inmates were those of Malaysia, Mexico, Dutch, South Africa and U.S. detained in Italian prisons.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella said that the pope cared a lot about prisoners, and that in his apostolic journeys, he had repeatedly visited prisons to give prisoners a message of solidarity and hope.
“Pope has repeatedly said forgiveness is the essence of the love which can understand mistakes and mend them.’’
Fisichella said that Francis was regularly in contact with death row inmates, because the Vatican had long opposed the death penalty, arguing that only God could take a person’s life.
The report said detainees were given a special permit to attend the event.
The pope’s Jubilee Year of Mercy opened on Dec. 8, 2015 and would end on Nov. 20.
It offers the faithful a special chance to make pilgrimages and seek a general pardon for their sins as they walk through a symbolic holy door.