Friday, February 26, 2010

Stational Churches of Lent: Ember Friday after the First Sunday in Lent

Station: Ss. Apostoli
(Collecta: S. Marco)

[The "Collecta" is the church which the faithful assembled at to make their way in procession together to the stational church of the day, chanting the litany of saints and other penitential prayers along the way. It is mentioned here purely as a historical reference.]

(The Basilica of Ss. Apostoli in an earlier form)

(Image source)

(Image source)

From Ildefonso Schuster's The Sacramentary:
On this day, in the ancient Roman liturgy, the second scrutiny of the candidates for the priesthood and diaconate took place; it was therefore proper that after the station of Wednesday at the Basilica of Our Lady on Esquiline [St. Mary Major], the Church should invoke the protection of the whole Apostolic College for those who continue their great mission upon earth.

In the venerable Basilica of the Holy Apostles -- built by Pelagius I (555-60) and dedicated by John III (560-73) as a votive offering for the deliverance of Rome from the Goths by Narses -- are preserved the relics of St. Philip and St. James.

From the Churches of Rome Wiki:
The first church on the site may have been founded in the time of Pope Julius I (337-352); there are indications of this in the Liber Pontificalis. However, the first church we have certain knowledge about was founded by Pope Pelagius I (556-561) in commemoration of a victory over the Goths and their expulsion by the Byzantine viceroy Narses. It was completed by John III (561-574), and dedicated to the Apostles St James and St Philip. It was restored by Pope Stephen VI (885-891).

In 1348, the church was severely damaged by an earthquake, and had to be abandoned. It was again restored in 1417 by Pope Martin V, whose family, the Colonnas, owned the surrounding area. The church was considered almost as the family chapel of the Colonna family. The façade was rebuilt in at the end of the 15th century by Baccio Pontelli. The church was rededicated to all the Apostles in the 16th century.

His design was changed when Carlo Rainaldi walled up the arches on the upper level, changed the windows into the Baroque style and added the statues of Christ and the Apostles in the 17th century.

A new restoration took place under Pope Clement XI (1700-1721), carried out by Carlo and Francesco Fontana. The present façade was designed by Valadier in 1827.

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