Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday from Santa Sabina, Rome

Other commitments prevented live coverage of the Papal Mass from Santa Sabina this Ash Wednesday, but a few press photographs, as well as a few photos taken from the Mass which was re-aired on EWTN this evening.

The Mass was at today's stational church of Santa Sabina, the Dominican Church in Rome, which was originally founded in the 5th century. A brief history of the basilica, as provided by the website of the General Curia of the Dominican Order:

"The church and convent of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome have been home to the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) since the 13th century.


"Many wealthy and noble Roman families made their homes on the Aventine hill during the time of the Roman Empire, two thousand years ago. The hill which rises some 50 metres above the Tiber was home to many magnificent Roman buildings. Among these was the home of a Roman lady named Sabine, who had embraced the Christian faith.

"According to many accounts she was martyred around the year 125, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. Her home became a shrine to the faith she professed. In 422, after the destruction wrought by Alaric and the Goths in 410, a church was built on the remains of Sabine's home. That is the same church Honorius III handed to the Order of Preachers in 1219, the same church which has weathered the crises of centuries, the same church you see here.

We begin with the papal procession:

(Skipping ahead now to the Gospel)

Blessing and Imposition of Ashes

The Offertory, Canon and Communion

(One can just see the confessio beneath the Altar, where the relics of St. Sabina are found)

As an aside, I could be wrong, but I am fairly certain I saw Martin Mosebach, author of "The Heresy of Formlessness", receiving Holy Communion from the Holy Father.

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