Sunday Lent II: Statio ad St Mariam in Dominica

O God, Who seest that we have no power whatever from ourselves; keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may hurt the soul. Through Jesus Christ our Lord…

The Station at Rome is in the church of St. Mary in Dominica, on Monte Celio. Tradition tells us that in this basilica was the diaconicum of which St. Lawrence had charge, and from which he distributed to the poor the alms of the Church.

The church was built in ancient times, close to the barracks of the 5th cohort of Vigiles. The church was built no later than the 7th century. Pope Paschal I, who is to be credited for the age of renovation and artistic splendour that happened in Rome in early 9th century, rebuilt the church in 818-822, providing it with a noteworthy mosaic decoration.

The attribute “in Domnica” has been differently explained. One interpretation is the derivation from dominicum, which means “of the Lord”, and by extension “church”. Another interpretation refers to the name of Cyriaca, a woman who lived close by, and whose name means “belonging to the Lord”, Dominica in Latin. The attribute “alla Navicella” means “near the little ship”, and refers to the Roman sculpture of a ship that has been placed in front of the church for a long time, turned into a fountain by Leo X.

We humbly beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we whom Thou hast strengthened with Thy sacraments, may henceforth serve Thee in worthiness of life. Through Our Lord…

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