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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Station at St. Cyriacus - S. Maria in Via Lata

Tuesday in Passion Week.
Station at St. Cyriacus - S. Maria in Via Lata.
(S. Maria in Via Lata.)

The station in Rome was formerly the church of the martyr St. Ciriacus,
and as such it is still given in the Roman missal;
but this holy sanctuary having been destroyed,
and the relics of the holy deacon translated to the church
of St. Mary in Via lata,
it is here that the station is now held.

A Roman tradition dating from the tenth century,
points to the crypt of this church
as the house where St. Paul lived a prisoner for two years.
If this crypt was the actual prison,
as the tradition of a thousand years and more would have us believe,
then it was here that the great Apostle converted Onesimus;
here that he received the alms of the Philippians brought by Epaphroditus;
here that he wrote several of his Epistles;
here that he preached the Cross of Christ
with such startling eloquence that many of Rome's noblest citizens
came to listen to him.
His words, powerful in themselves,
were rendered still more impressive
by the sight of the iron chains that fettered his venerable form,
and the presence of the rough military guard,
who never left his side.

Liturgical Note:
The Church makes use of the Psalter during these last days of the Fast,
in order to reveal to us the innermost thoughts of the Redeemer,
as the hour of His Passion draws near.
The Psalms form indeed the chief of all books of prayer.
While the Gospels relate the details of the life of Our Lord
and expound his teaching,
the Psalms of David show us the mind of our Saviour,
and make known to us His preferences,
His feelings, His struggles and His anxieties
and tell us of the accents of deep love
in which He prayed to His Heavenly Father.
Throughout His life, Jesus addressed Him in the words of the Psalter,
and on the Cross, during His last agony,
the twenty-first psalm was on His lips.

Let us pray.

Make not my soul to perish with sinners, O God,
nor my life with bloody men.
Redeem me, O Lord!
Deliver me, O Lord, from evil man,
preserve me from the wicked man.
Redeem me, O Lord!
make not my soul to perish with sinners, O God,
nor my life with bloody men.
Redeem me, O Lord!

(Third Responsory of Matins.Ps 25:9; 139:2)

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