Pope to wash feet of disabled in Easter ritual

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis will wash the feet of a group of disabled and elderly people as part of an Easter ritual imitating Jesus Christ's humility on April 17 during a visit to a hospice in Rome, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

The pontiff will visit the Centro Santa Maria della Provvidenza Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi home on the city's northwestern outskirts on Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Christ's Last Supper with the apostles.

The ceremony is part of the run-up to Easter Sunday.

Shortly after his election last year, Francis visited a youth detention centre where he performed the washing of feet ritual on a group of young inmates including two Muslims - the first Catholic leader ever to do so.

Francis has often shown particular attention to disabled people and the elderly, condemning a "hidden euthanasia" in modern societies against the old.