Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Roman Pilgrims at the Station Churches 2022 (Part 1)

Lent is upon us, and once again, many Catholics in Rome observe the season with daily visits to the station churches. This will be the ninth year in which our friend Agnese shares with us the photos she takes during the processions and Masses organized at the stations each evening by the Vicariate of Rome; we thank her for giving our readers the opportunity to follow along with this beautiful and ancient custom of the Holy See of St Peter.
I have titled this post “Roman Pilgrims” in the plural, since, as I noted last week, we will have a second pilgrim joining Agnese; Mr Jacob Stein, author of the blog PassioXP and a student at the Angelicum, is also sharing some of his photos of the stations with us, and making videos about each church, which will be added to each church after the photos. Do him a favor by subscribing and turning on notifications, to help the channel to grow and ensure that you don’t miss a video.
We begin this year with one photo of the Forty-Hours devotion, which was a long-standing tradition of the church of Trinità dei Pellegrini long before it was entrusted to the Fraternity of St Peter, and has been happily revived, along with the church’s confraternity. Here we see some of the members in their distinctive red habit.
Ash Wednesday – Santa Sabina
Thursday after Ash Wednesday – San Giorgio in Velabro
His Eminence Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, comes each year to personally celebrated the station in his title church, which he holds in the illustrious company of (among many others) Bl. John Henry Newman; his predecessor in the title was Alphonse Card. Stickler.

Friday after Ash Wednesday – Ss John and Paul on the Caelian Hill
This altar of this large chapel on the right side of the church contains the relics of St Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist order. 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 the order’s houses are called, in Rome, in remembrance of his beloved brother, since the martyrs John and Paul were also brothers.
“The place of the martyrdom of Ss John and Paul within their own house.” In 1887, a member of the Passionist community, Fr Germanus of St Stanislaus, began to dig under the church, hoping to identify the precise location of the martyrs’ burial. His excavation led to the discovery of a complex of twenty rooms from several different periods (late-1st to mid-5th centuries), which can now be visited by the public.

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 Trypho and his companions, Respicius and Nympha, were transferred along with the Lenten Station to the nearby church of St Augustine, and now repose in the high altar.

The First Sunday of Lent – St John in the Lateran
Monday of the First Week of Lent – St Peter in Chains
Photos and video by Jacob
Tuesday of the First Week of Lent – St Anastasia
Agnese had to miss this station for work, so here are her photos from last year.

And this year from Jacob.
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.

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