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”
— Feria II post Dominicam primam — Statio ad S. Petrum ad Vincula —
The station church today is St. Peter in Chains. Let’s read the account of Peter’s arrest and liberation from the Acts of the Apostles (12:3-10). Keep in mind the intention of penance in the Season of Lent. And see how the Christians prayed for Peter. Their prayer was fervent. I recall yesterday’s post about the communion of the church. Never forget that your life, every minuscule aspect of it, is meant to be for the good of the church and the world. That is, if it be informed and inflamed by charity. Don’t forget that. Now, the text from the Acts of the Apostles:
And when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (It was [the] feast of Unleavened Bread.) He had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf. On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left him.
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