Third Week of Lent: Station Churches

Sunday’s Station Church: S. Lorenzo fuori le mura

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 9.17.20 AM

Monday’s Station Church: S. Marco al Campidoglio

San Marco is a minor basilica in Rome dedicated to St. Mark the Evangelist located in the small Piazza di San Marco adjoining Piazza Venezia. It was first built in 336 by Pope Mark, whose remains are in an urn located below the main altar. The basilica is the national church of Venice in Rome.

Apse mosaic and side altar:

Tuesday’s Station Church: S. Pudenziana al Viminale

The apse mosaic is remarkable for its iconography. Christ is represented as a human figure rather than as a symbol, such as lamb or the good shepherd, as he was in very early Christian images. The regal nature of this representation prefigures the majestic bearing of Christ as depicted in Byzantine mosaics. Christ sits on a jewel encrusted throne, wearing a golden toga with a purple trim (a sign of imperial authority and emphasizing the authority of Christ and his church). He poses as a classical Roman teacher with his right hand extended. Christ wears a halo and holds in his left hand the text: “Dominus conservator ecclesiae Pudentianae” (The Lord is the preserver of the church of Pudenziana). He sits among his apostles, two of which were removed during restoration. The apostles wear senatorial togas. They all have individual expressions and face the spectator. The lower part of the mosaic was removed during the restoration in the late 16th century. The mosaics of the apostles on the right side have been lost in the course of time and are replaced by new, but rather blank, mosaics. Two female figures (representing “Church” and “Synagogue”) hold a wreath above the head of St. Peter and Paul. Above them the roofs and domes of heavenly Jerusalem (or, in another interpretation, the churches built by the emperor Constantine in Jerusalem) are depicted. Above Christ stands a large jewel encrusted cross on a hill (Calvary), as a sign of the triumph of Christ, amidst the Christian symbols of the Four Evangelists. These iconographic symbols (angel, lion, ox and eagle) are the oldest still existing representations of the Evangelists. You also see the early depictions of angels, the blue and red figures in the sky.

Meditation from Saint Thomas Aquinas: Tuesday after the Third Sunday in Lent

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.45.17 AM

Wednesday’s Station Church: SS. Nereo e Achilleo P.le Numa Pompilio [Last year’s meditation by St. Thomas Aquinas: Wednesday after the Third Sunday in Lent]

Photo by my friend Agnese. Last year’s Mass.

Thursday’s Station Church: SS. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra [Thursday after the Third Sunday in Lent, St. Thomas Aquinas’s meditation]

Photo by Agnese.

Friday’s Station Church: S. Lorenzo in Lucina

The other Guido Reni Crucifix, picture during the procession with the singing of the Litany of the Saints. I am in the photo somewhere.

Friday after the Third Sunday in Lent for meditation of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

If one is fortunate, you can look into the Church from the Piazza and see the Corpus of Christ Crucified (by Guido Reni, the same who painted the Altarpiece at Trinita dei Pellegrini). In looking from afar at the above altarpiece, one is provoked to call to his mind the Blessed Sacrament, the elevation of the Host.

Saturday’s Station Church: S. Maria della Vittoria

We are reminded especially on this day, the purpose of Lent, which is the purpose of the whole spiritual life, Divine Union! We find Bernini’s “Ecstasy of Teresa.” The ethereal face of the Saint highlights for us the PURITY of life that allows man to see God!

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 9.29.33 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s