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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Station at St. Lawrence in Panisperna

Thursday after the First Week in Lent.
Station at St. Lawrence in Panisperna.

(S. Lorenzo in Panisperna.)
The site of the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

Tradtion states that the church stands on
the site of the martyrdom of St Lawrence
and that its original structure was built
during the reign of Constantine I,
within 100 years of the Saint's martyrdom.

"Panisperna" may refer to the custom
of the Poor Clare nuns in the adjacent convent
who distrubted bread and ham (pane e pema)
on August 10 the saint's feast day.

St. Bridget of Sweden

On the steps of this church and at the convent gate,
St. Bridget of Sweden,
whom Our Lord favouredwith such wonderful revelations,
used to sit among the poor,
asking alms of those who entered.
At the close of the day
she took what she had collected
to the poor pilgrims of the Swedish hospital
founded by her.

Just before her death in 1373,
she charged her son Birger
to have her body carried quietly by night
to the convent of the Poor Clares in Panisperna
without the slightest show or ceremony.
Notwithstanding her humble wish,
to satisfy the devotion of the faithful,
her body was exposed for two days during which time
miraculous cures took place.
Her body was translated to Sweden in 1374.
Devotionem populi tui, quaesumus, Domine, benignus intende:
ut qui per abstinentiam macerantur in corpore,
per fructum boni operis reficiantur in mente.
Per Dominum.

Let us pray.
Favourably look down, O Lord, we beseech Thee,
upon the devotion of Thy people:
that they who are mortified in the flesh by abstinence
may be refreshed in mind by the fruit of good works.
Through our Lord.

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