Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches - Part 4

As we have noted on other occasions, St. Peter’s Basilica has the Station twice in Lent, once on Saturday of the first week, since all Ember Saturdays have their Station there, and again on Passion Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent in the modern rite. The Basilica has consistently maintained of displaying a large number of reliquaries on the high altar on these days; including among the relics are the majority of the sainted Popes, both the martyrs and the confessors.

Second Sunday of Lent - Santa Maria in Domnica

His Excellency Bishop Matteo Zuppi, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, preaches while standing under a mosaic of the early 9th century.
Monday of the Second Week - Saint Clement’s

The Basilica of St. Clement is famous for being built on three levels; the 12th-century church seen in the first picture sits on top of a church of the 4th century (the altar of which is seen here), which in turn sits on top of two ancient Roman buildings, one of the late first and another of the mid-2nd century. All three of these levels are accessible to the public. When the second level, the church of the 4th century, was dug out in the middle of the 19th century, no remains of an altar or an part of the sanctuary were found . The archeologists soon realized that in the process of building the newer church on top of the older, the 12-century builders had dismantled them entirely, moved them upstairs, and reassembled them in their current place. The altar and baldachin seen above were then newly made so that the newly rediscovered spaces of the older church could be used once again for worship. 
The procession passes through the nave of the ancient church; in the background, some of the 11th century fresco work preserved in the lower church. (Thank you, Agnese, in particular for this beautiful photograph!)

The procession passes through the narthex (now underground) of the ancient church of San Clement.

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