Thursday in the First Week: Lent 2018

Saint Gabriel Novena: Day 4.

Stational Church: San Lorenzo in Panisperna

In this image you can see Sant Maria Maggiore in the bottom left with the two cupolas showing (yesterday’s Stational Church).

“Panisperna” most probably refers to the tradition of the Poor Clares of the adjacent convent distributing bread and ham, “pane e perna” on 10 August, the Feast of St. Lawrence, in remembrance of his distribution of funds of the Church to the poor. The previous name of the church “in Formoso” referred to Pope Formosus who erected the first attested church on its site.

Tradition states that the first edifice on the site was constructed during the reign of Emperor Constantine I,only 100 years after the martyrdom of St. Lawrence. In the fifth century, this church was one of the Stational Churches of Rome that the Pope visited on its titular day: the Thursday of the first week in Lent.

These two pictures above were taken by my friend Agnese, the Roman pilgrim, faithfully making the pilgrimage each year to the Stational Churches. The first, is the site of the martyrdom, which is in the crypt of the Church. The second is the blessing with a relic and the beautiful fresco of the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. May our hearts burn, also, with the love of Christ, so as to be able to lay down our lives for our friends.

Prayer over the people:

Let us pray.

Bow your heads to God.

Grant we beseech You, O Lord, that Your faithful people may be aware of what they profess and may love the heavenly gift which they regularly receive. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

R. Amen.

Last year’s meditation for Thursday in the First Week of Lent.

For spiritual reading this Lent and beyond, check out my new publication of Meditations on the Passion of Christ from the School of Jesus Crucified: HERE.

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