In 2020, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the pope offered the Mass of the Lord’s Supper in a nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica. The feet washing was omitted as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Thursday Mass privately in the chapel of Cardinal Angelo Becciu’s private apartment in 2021, months after the Italian cardinal resigned as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights extended to members of the College of Cardinals.
The last pope to make an official visit to Civitavecchia, which has a population of around 53,000, was reportedly John Paul II, who toured the port and the local Torrevaldaliga Nord coal-fired power plant in 1987.
In an address to prisoners in Civitavecchia, the Polish pope noted that the city had not received a papal visit since 1868, when Pius IX traveled there.
Pope Francis began Thursday by celebrating a Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica attended by around 2,500 people.
The Holy See press office said that at the end of the Mass in Civitavecchia, the director of the prison thanked the pope for his visit and presented him with a print of the ancient port, products from the garden grown by the inmates, and works made by staff and inmates.
The pope then went to a visiting room where he greeted about 50 people representing the inmates, officers, and staff of the prison, the press office said. Afterward, he returned to his Vatican residence.