Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, as the Apostolic Administrator of Myitkyina diocese in Myanmar, has been in Kachin state since before Palm Sunday. The state has witnessed some of the worst conflicts in Myanmar with different armed groups jostling for power, including the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) and the People’s Defence Force (PDF).
On Maundy Thursday during the Last Supper Mass at St. Columban’s Cathedral, Cardinal Bo washed the feet of 12 people from the local community, including priests, religious sisters, a catechist, and children.
The gesture of washing the feet is part of the Liturgy that commemorates the Last Supper of the Lord with his apostles. This practice of the Church is a symbolic act of humility, service and love, and is associated with acts of charity and compassion.
In Myanmar, like many countries in southeast Asia, it is extremely rude to point feet at anyone and especially religious statues or images or an elderly person; so the cardinal’s action is a specially poignant act of humility for the people of this country.
(Photo from Myitkyina Diocese)