— Feria IV Cinerum — Statio ad S. Sabinam —
The station church of Ash Wednesday is Santa Sabina. This church is found on the Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. It sits perched above the Tiber, with a view of particular beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica, and at the base of the hill we find the Circus Maximus.
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”
First depiction of the Crucifixion in Christian art, on the door of Santa Sabina.
The basilica is the oldest extant Roman basilica which has maintained the integrity of its colonnaded rectangular plan and architectural style. It was built near or even upon the site of a temple of Juno — whence come the 24 Proconnesian marble columns with perfectly matched Corinthian capitals and bases.
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