Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2016 (Part 1)

This year, my friend Agnese is once again attending the Stational Masses organized by the Vicariate of Rome throughout Lent, and as she has so kindly done on many previous occasions, is sharing her photographs of the ceremonies with us. A procession is normally held before the Station Masses, which, in accordance with the traditional Lenten discipline of the Church, take place in the evening; many of the churches bring out large numbers of reliquaries and place them on the altar, or somewhere in the church to be venerated by the faithful.

Over the years, we have published a large number of articles about the Station churches, which you easily can find by putting the words “Station churches” in the NLM search box on the top right of the page. If you don’t know what Station churches are, you might want to read this great article which Shawn posted in 2010, explaining their origin and significance.

Thursday after Ash Wednesday - San Giorgio in Velabro

Behind the window under the altar is kept a reliquary with a piece of the skull of St George. Because the titular Saint is the Patron of England, this church was given to Bl. John Henry Newman as his cardinalitial title by Pope Leo XIII in 1879; it was held by Cardinal Alfonse Maria Stickler from 1985 until his death in 2007.
Friday after Ash Wednesday - Ss John and Paul
Agnese had to miss this station; these photos were taken by Mr Jacob Stein, to whom we are likewise very grateful.
Procession outside the basilica before Mass. The dome seen here is not that of the main church, but of the large side-chapel where St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist Order, is buried. St. Paul had a brother named Giovanni Battista (John the Baptist), himself now a Venerable, to whom he was very close, and who was instrumental in helping him found the order. Many years after the latter’s death, Pope Clement XIV (1769-74) gave the basilica to St Paul to be the first “Retreat” (as Passionist houses are called) in Rome, in remembrance of his beloved brother, since the martyrs John and Paul were also brothers.

The relics of St Paul of the Cross
This stone in the church marks “the place of the martyrdom of Ss John and Paul in their own house.”
Saturday after Ash Wednesday - St Augustine
In the Roman Missal, the Station is listed at a church called St Trypho, which was demolished in 1595. The relics of Ss Trypho and his companions, Respicius and Nympha, were transferred along with the Lenten Station to the nearby church of Saint Augustine.

Monday of the First Week of Lent - St Peter in Chains

Blessing of the faithful with a relic at the end of the Mass.

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