Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday, First Week of Lent: Church of St. Anastasia


Visiting St. Anastasia's in July
Today’s Station Church is located in that area of Rome, next to the Circus Maximus, and is dedicated to St. Anastasia who was a early martyr in Sirmius, modern day Serbia. Devotion to this martyr arrived in Rome from Constantinople in the fifth century. This particular church also has a history with St. Jerome who would often offer Mass here when he was visiting the city, because he too was from the area where St. Anastasia lived. The altar used in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel dates back to his time.

In the beginning of the history of the station churches, St. Anastasia was the starting point of the procession to St. Sabina on Ash Wednesday. It also served as a chapel for the Byzantine Emperor, who lived on the Palatine Hill. As a result of this, the pope began to personally celebrate Mass here on Christmas morning, which is also the feast of St. Anastasia. During the Pontificate of Blessed John Paul II St. Anastasia was given to the youth, after World Youth Day in Rome, 2000 to establish Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

The area is certainly historical, and reminds us of those who gave their lives for the faith in the Circus Maximus, not far from this spot.


Christ, the Light, Life and Truth, gave them the strength to bear witness thus receiving the crown. Let us ask for the grace to live each day of this lenten season bearing witness to the love of Our Lord through sacrifice, fasting, and almsgiving.

St. Anastasia's relics are under the altar

Getting ready for Mass to begin

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