— Feria V post Cineres — Statio ad S. Giorgium —
The church is located in what was the Greek neighborhood of Rome. Pope Zachary (741-752), of Greek origin and the last Pope of the Byzantine papacy, moved the relic of St. George from Cappadocia to this church. On account of this, the cult of St. George has arrived in the West well before the later influence of Crusaders returning from the East.
Of interesting note: this neighborhood is where the basket of Romulus and Remus came to rest, where they were nursed by the she-wolf until the shepherd and his wife found them.— a note that will come back up in relation especially to a future #romanstationchurch as well.
San Giorgio in Velabro is the station church for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday. The current church building, dedicated firstly to Saint Sebastian, was built in the 7th century. Unlike Santa Sabina (yesterday’s station), the columns supporting the springing arches are randomly arranged, as they come from a multitude of former Roman temples.
A wonderful thing of note is that, from 1879-1890, Saint John Henry Newman was the Cardinal-Deacon of San Giorgio (Saint George being a huge part of the devotion of the British Isles).
The apse (1300) of San Giorgio is Christ in the Second Coming and He is holding a scroll. It reminded me of what the Holy Father said in his audience for Ash Wednesday two years ago. He spoke of the Word of God and the necessity to go into the desert, where silence envelops us: “It is the absence of words in order to make room for another Word, the Word of God, which caresses our hearts like a gentle breeze.”
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