"We released 572 prisoners who were arrested for minor offences," Prison Commission General Chandraratne Pallegama told Reuters, adding that some were older than 75. The sentences of an unspecified number of other prisoners were reduced.
"All this was done one to mark the visit by His Holiness."
The former British colony usually releases prisoners arrested for minor offences on the island nation's independence day on February 4.
The pope earlier in the day held an outdoor Mass before more than half a million people to make Joseph Vaz, a 17th century missionary, the Indian Island nation's first saint.