The Province

Holy Thursday foot-wash on Pope’s pre-Easter schedule

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VATICANCIT­Y — Pope Francis will leave the Vatican for a weeklong retreat leading up to his busy Easter season.

The Vatican confirmed Thursday that Francis and the heads of Vatican offices would travel to Ariccia, in the hills south of Rome, for spiritual exercises March 9-14.

Jesuits typically do such Lenten retreats and the Society of St. Paul offered up a retreat house.

The pope’s official Easter schedule doesn’t include a Holy Thursday footwashin­g service, but Vatican officials said Francis would once again re-enact Jesus’ washing of his apostles’ feet in a “pastoral” setting outside the Vatican.

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