Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stational Churches of Lent: Tuesday after the Second Sunday in Lent

Station: S. Balbina all’Aventino

From Blessed Ildefonso Schuster's The Sacramentary:
There was no collecta on this day, perhaps because the Basilica of St. Balbina stood alone, far away on the Aventine, there being no other church in its vicinity from which the stational procession could set out.

The foundress of the titulus Balbinae -- dedicated at first to the divine Redeemer, before it took the name of the martyr Balbina, who was buried in the cemetery of Praetextatus -- was perhaps the matron Balbina, after whom a portion of the vast necropolis of St. Callixtus was called.

From the Churches of Rome wiki:
Santa Balbina Vergina is a church dedicated to the 2nd century Roman virgin and martyr St Balbina...

The church is ancient, and was probably built in the 4th century above the house of the consul Lucius Fabius Cilone. The first reference to it is found in a 6th century document, where it's referred to as Sanctae Balbinae. It was consecrated, or re-consecrated, by Pope St Gregory the Great...

It was rebuilt several times. In 1489 Marco Barbo, nephew of Pope Paul II, reconstructed the ceiling. Under Pope Sixtus V, the columns of the portico where replaced with pilasters, and the apse was frescoed. The present Romanesque look is a result of restoration work carried out 1927–1930 by Antonio Muñoz.

The church is served by diocesan clergy...

At the high altar is a jasper urn containing the relics of St Balbina, her father St Quirinus and St Felicissimus.

The tomb of Cardinal Stephanus de Surdis is signed by Giovanni di Cosma, dated 1303. There is also a 13th century Cosmatesque episcopal throne.

An altar from old St Peter's was moved here.

In the fourth niche on the right-hand side is a 15th century marble relief of the Crucifixion.

The choir, restored 1939, has fragments of 1st century mosaics found beneath Via Imperiale.

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