Tuesday in Holy Week.
Station at St. Prisca.
St. Prisca, a young girl of thirteen,
of noble birth was baptized by St. Peter on this spot.
She was condemned by the emperor Claudius
to be exposed in the amphitheatre.
A fierce Lion was let loose upon her,
but the savage beast, instead of tearing her to pieces,
awed as it were, by her innocence and youth,
came and licked her feet.
Such miracles the pagans ascribed to magic,
and she was ordered to be beheaded.
Her body lay concealed on the Aventine till discovered
by Pope St. Eutychian in the year 208,
and translated by him to this church.
It still rests beneath the high altar.
From today’s Introit:
“May God have mercy on us and bless us;
may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us,
and may He have mercy on us.” (Ps. lxvi)
This is the most beautiful prayer that, in union with the Church, we can lift up to Christ crucified. He chose to die in the darkness of that awestruck earth, having Himself become an object of malediction in the sight of the ineffable holiness of God; but, at the same time, his dying eyes are fixed on us in love, and that glance in a living and shining ray which enlightens the whole world.