Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Roman Pilgrims at the Station Churches 2022 (Part 6)

This will be the final post in this series, which for the first time in three years, we were actually able to complete. Many thanks once again to both Agnese and Jacob for sharing their pictures and videos with us - feliciter! Jacob will continue to make new videos for his channel Crux Stationalis about churches and other major religious sites in Rome, so please be sure to subscribe, and help him continue the good work of evangelizing through beauty!
Passion Monday – St Chrysogonus
Passion Tuesday – Santa Maria in Via Lata
The church where this day’s station was originally kept, and which is still listed in the Roman Missal, dedicated to an early Roman martyr named Cyriacus, was demolished in 1491 to make way for the construction of Santa Maria in Via Lata, to which the station was then transferred. The crypt is partly the remains of an ancient house, traditionally said to be one of the places where St Paul stayed when he was in Rome. (This new station church has the same name in both Latin and Italian as the FSSP church in my hometown, Providence, Rhode Island, “St Mary on Broadway.”)
Passion Wednesday – St Marcellus on the Corso
“Via Lata – Broad Street” is the Latin name for the via del Corso, and the station church for this day sits on it almost directly across from yesterday’s station. The church is dedicated to a Pope who was martyred in the early 4th century, Marcellus, built over the filthy stables where he was condemned to labor by the Emperor Maxentius; his relics are under the high altar. The church burned down in 1519, and was rebuilt in the opposite orientation from that of the original structure.
Passion Thursday – St Apollinaris
Passion Friday – Santo Stefano Rotondo
This church has the peculiar name of “Round St Stephen’s” because it was the only round church built in Rome in antiquity. (The Pantheon is also round, and as a church was also known as “Round St Mary’s”, but was not of course originally built as a church.) The building originally had three rings, but the outermost was removed in a 12th-century restoration.

The evening Masses at the Lenten Stations are organized by the diocese of Rome and the Pontifical Commission for the Cult of the Martyrs. This is an especially important station for the latter group, since the walls of the church, which goes back to the fifth-century, were painted in the later 16-century with vivid (too vivid, in the opinion of many), depictions of early Christian martyrdoms.

Passion Saturday – St John at the Latin Gate
According to a tradition known to Tertullian, and repeated by St Jerome, St John the Evangelist came to Rome some time after the death of Ss Peter and Paul; under the Emperor Domitian, he was boiled in a pot of oil, but emerged from it not only unscathed, but healthier than he had been. He was then banished to the Greek island of Patmos, where he wrote the Apocalypse; a feast commemorating this attempted martyrdom of the Apostle was on the general Calendar until 1960. Barely visible in this first photo is a small oratory known as St John “in oleo - in the oil”, oratory is said to be on the very spot where the pot of oil was set up; it is attributed to Donatello Bramante, the original architect in charge of rebuilding St Peter’s Basilica in the early 16th-century. (The vestments are red since this is now the vigil Mass of Palm Sunday in the new rite.)

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: