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Friday, March 05, 2010

Station at St. Vitalis'

Friday of the Second Week of Lent.
Station at St. Vitalis'.

(S. Vitale.)

Today's Station church is the ancient Titulus Vestinae,
erected by the Roman matron Vestina in A.D. 401 or 402.

It is dedicated to St. Vitalis, martyr,
father of SS. Gervaisius and Prostaius, who
while he was urging St. Ursicinus to constancy in martyrdom,
was himself seized, scourged and buried alive.
The church is considerably below the level of the street,
showing how the soil has risen in the course of the ages.

St. John Fisher
the last Cardinal of St. Vitale.

This church has an especial interest for English speakers,
St. John Fisher, Martyr,
having been created Cardinal of St. Vitalis
by Pope Paul III in 1534.
He was the last to bear the title.
When Henry VIII heard of the dignity thus conferred
on the venerable bishop,
he exclaimed:
"Ha! Paul may send him the hat,
but i will see that he has never a head to set it on."
St. John was executed on June 21, 1535.

Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almight God:
that, purified by a holy fast,
we may arrive by Thy grace with sincere minds
at the festivals to come.
Through our Lord.

Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus:
ut, sacro nos purificante jejunio,
sinceris mentibus ad sancta ventura facias pervenire.
Per Dominum.

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