Pope Francis holds special Jubilee Mass for prisoners

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has arrived in St. Peter’s Basilica for a special Jubilee Mass for prisoners, hoping to bring a message of mercy and hope to inmates.

Wearing green robes and a white skull cap, Francis stood before a congregation made up of some 1,000 prisoners from 12 countries and their families. The event comes as part of the Vatican’s Holy Year of Mercy, which comes to an end later this month.

Francis has made it a mission of his papacy to encourage greater compassion to the plight of the world’s most vulnerable people, including the poor, the sick, the elderly, migrants and prisoners.

He has also urged governments to consider granting a Holy Year amnesty to prisoners, finding alternatives to incarceration and at the very least abolishing the death penalty.

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