Station Church of Rome: 4

The practice of early Roman Christians of visiting the tombs of the martyrs became the Lenten “statio” of processing and gathering at a different church each day. This gives us the name “Stational church”

Sabbato post Cineres — Statio ad S. Tryphonem

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.

St. Augustine spent thirty years on his treatise De Trinitate [On the Holy Trinity], striving to “explain” the Blessed Trinity.

Augustine, now a Bishop, was walking by the seashore one day contemplating this work and trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. He saw a young boy with a seashell, taking water seashell by seashell to a hole in the sand that he had made. Augustine approached the boy and asked him: “My boy, what are you doing?”

The boy replied, “I am trying to bring all the sea into this hole,” as he smiled back at Augustine.

Augustine replied, “But, that is impossible, my dear child, the hole cannot contain all that water.”

The boy paused his work, stood up, and looked the Saint in his eyes, saying: “It is no more possible than what you are trying to do — comprehend the immensity of the mystery of the Holy Trinity with your small intelligence.”

The Saint was struck by the keen words of the child. Absorbed by the infinite mystery of the Trinity, he turned his eyes. He glanced back down at the boy with another question, but the boy had vanished. An Angel of God or the Christ Child Himself: the Saint was humbled and reminded of the limits of man’s understanding to grasp the essence of God, that is, the reality that we can only be in awe before the glorious mysteries of God.

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