Friday, March 18, 2011

Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles (Santi Dodici Apostoli) - Today's Lenten Station

While I didn't get to visit today's Lenten station church while in Rome last November, we did pass by it en route to dinner one night. We passed by a lot of places, unfortunately, that weren't on the itinerary, but that would have been worthwhile to visit. That's one of the things about Rome, it's impossible to get to every beautiful and holy place. In fact, even when you visit one of the churches, there's not enough time to truly see every shrine, altar or beautiful painting.

That's why I wish I could be in Rome right now, visiting a different station church on each of the 40 days of Lent. What a wonderful way to walk with the Lord on His way to Calvary. Each of the Lenten stational churches tells a part of the story of the early days of the Church and her martyrs.

Today's church is the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles (or Santi Dodici Apostoli in Italian). This church is the final resting place of the apostles James the Lesser and St. Philip. That's another thing about Rome, you can go into a beautiful church and have no idea that you're walking by the tomb of an apostle. In St. Peter's basilica, Ss. Simon and Jude are beneath a side altar that has very little in the way of markings. In this country, we would probably put a blinking neon sign above the entrance! But, no, in Rome you have to know what you're looking for.

The Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles was also the temporary final resting place of Michelangelo until his body was moved to Florence. Too bad, in a way, since so much of his work was done in Rome.

Ss. Philip and James, pray for us!

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