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 V post Dominicam primam — Statio ad S. Laurentium in Paneperna —
The station church of the Thursday of the first week of Lent is Saint Laurence in Panisperna. The cult of Saint Laurence is one of the most popular in Rome, with many churches, basilicas, chapels, etc. dedicated in his honor. This church in particular was previously known as “San Lorenzo in Formoso”. As Pope Formosus erected the first church on this site.
The church is located on the site of the martyr’s martyrdom. We probably all know the famous story of his legend: the Saint was roasted on the fire, he wittingly told his persecutors, “Turn me over, I am done on this side.” This certainly teaches us to embrace our sufferings in the joy of Christ.
The street on which this church lies is named Panisperna: coming from “Pane” (bread) and “Perna” (ham). This site was a place of charity for the poor, where they would be provided for with bread and ham.
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