Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches 2021 (Part 2)

Some of the churches in the second post of our annual series on the Roman stational Masses make a point of putting out a large number of the relics on the day of the station, especially St Mary Major and St Peter’s, the stations of the Wednesday and Saturday Ember Days. Thanks as always to our friend Agnese for sharing these with us.

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent - St Anastasia
The statue of St Anastasia in the niche in front of the high altar was planned by a sculptor called Francesco Aprile, in imitation of a similar statue of St Cecilia by Stefano Maderno, and Bernini’s Blessed Ludovica Albertoni. Aprile died in 1684 at the age of 30, and the work was executed by Ercole Ferrata, who was already in his 70s, and died very shortly after completing it.
Portraits of recent pope and cardinals in the sacristy.
Ember Wednesday - St Mary Major
Thursday of the First Week of Lent - St Lawrence ‘in Panisperna’
The altar in the crypt on the site of St Lawrence’s martyrdom. 
Ember Friday - Basilica of the Twelve Apostles
Relics of the foot of St Philip and the femur of St James the Less, the two Apostles to whom the church was originally dedicated.
The entrance to the crypt in front of the high altar.
The altar in the crypt where the two relics seen above are normally kept.
Ember Saturday - St Peter’s in the Vatican
Lenten stations are held at St Peter’s twice in Lent, on Ember Saturday and Passion Sunday. The Papal altar is decorated with relics according to a particular arrangement; those of the martyrs are placed closer to the edge of the mensa, and those of other Saints further in; the four corners are decorated with reliquaries shaped like obelisks, with long bones (tibias and such) in them. On each of the two short sides of the altar is set a rectangular panel containing relics of 35 Popes, between them, all of the Sainted Popes except the most recent.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: