Thursday, 3 April 2014

Lenten Station At The Basilica Of Saint Sylvester And Saint Martin. Thursday Of The Fourth Week In Lent.


Roman Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal.

Italic Text, Illustrations and Captions, are taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.


Indulgence of 10 years and 10 Quarantines.
Violet Vestments.



English: Basilica of Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin,
Rome, Italy.
Italiano: San Martino ai Monti, 
also known as Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti - 
Titolo Equizio.
Photo: June 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: FlagUploader (User:Panairjdde).
(Wikimedia Commons)


The first Christians, for the honour of their Martyrs, built Sanctuaries over their tombs and placed their bodies under the High Altar. From this, the custom is taken of placing Relics in the Altar Stone. From Rome, the veneration of these Martyrs spread throughout the Church. Saint Martin was one of the first Confessors (a Saint, not a Martyr) to whom universal devotion was accorded in the West.

The Lenten Station is a Sanctuary on the Esquiline. A holy Priest had given his house to Pope Saint Sylvester to turn into a Church. It was one of the twenty-five Parish Churches of Rome in the 5th-Century. In the 6th-Century, Pope Saint Symmachus built a new Church, next to the first, on a higher level, and dedicated both to Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin of Tours. Since a thorough restoration was ordained in the 16th-Century by Saint Charles Borromeo, the Church is called “San Martino ai San Monti”.



Portrait of San Carlo Borromeo.
Artist: Giovanni Ambrogio Figino (1548 - 1608).
(Uploaded by User:Lupo to en.wikipedia).
Saint Charles Borromeo,
Cardinal Archbishop of the Arch-Diocese of Milan
(1564 - 1584).
Restored the Basilica of 
Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin 
in the 16th-Century.
(Wikimedia Commons)


This Church was chosen wherein to read the Gospel, which speaks of resurrection, because, in the name of the Blessed Trinity, Saint Martin raised three persons from the dead; a symbol of the baptised, who are born to a new life in the name of the Blessed Trinity.

The Epistle and Gospel announce to us the great mystery of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is drawing nigh, and in the celebration of which, at Easter, public penitents participated. The Sunamite woman and the widow of Naim had lost their sons. Eliseus, who is a figure of Jesus, raises the first to life and Christ gives back the second to his mother.


File:San Martino ai Monti crypt.jpg

The Crypt 
of San Martino ai Monti, 
by François Marius Granet (1806).
(Permission from www.wga.hu)
Date: 2005-11-19 (original upload date).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia
transferred to Commons by 
Author: Original uploader was Attilios at en.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)


This is what God in His mercy will do in the holy Sacrament of Penance for Souls which have died by sin. He restores them to the life of grace and gives them back to the Church, their mother. Let us prepare ourselves for the Easter Confession, which will more abundantly fill our Souls with supernatural life.

Let us moderate by Fasting our Earthly appetites in order that we may better enjoy Heavenly things (Collect).



Interior of San Martino ai Monti, 
Rome, Italy.
Photo: August 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Lalupa.
(Wikimedia Commons)


San Martino ai Monti, also known as Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti - Titolo Equizio, is a Basilica Church in Rome, in the Rione Monti neighbourhood of Rome.

The Basilica was founded by Pope Saint Sylvester I, over land donated by one, Equitius (hence the name of Titulus Equitii), in the 4th-Century. At the beginning, it was an Oratory devoted to all the Martyrs. It is known that a preparation meeting for the Council of Nicaea was held here in 324 A.D.


File:San Martino ai Monti interior 1.jpg

San Martino ai Monti,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: August 2006.
Uploaded by Kurpfalzbilder.de
Author: Francesco Gasparetti from Senigallia, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The current Church of San Martino ai Monti dates from the Carolingian era, but a 3rd-Century Pillared Hall has been located below and adjacent to the later Church. This has caused some scholars to identify it with the Titulus Equitii, but, according to Hugo Brandenburg, it is "most unlikely that it could have served as a place of worship for any larger community and its Liturgy: The original purpose of this fairly modest Hall . . . was probably to serve as a storage space for commercial purposes."

In 500 A.D, the Church was rebuilt and dedicated to Saints Martin of Tours and Pope Saint Sylvester I by Pope Symmachus. On this occasion, the Church was elevated and the first Oratory became subterranean.





Pope Symmachus,
from the Basilica of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura, Rome.
Pope Saint Symmachus (498 A.D. - 514 A.D.) rebuilt the Basilica
of Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin in 500 A.D.
Author: Parrocchia di Santa Agnese fuori le Mura.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Pope Saint Symmachus was Pope from 498 A.D. to 514 A.D. His tenure was marked by a serious Schism over who was legitimately elected Pope by the citizens of Rome.

He was born on Sardinia, the son of Fortunatus; Jeffrey Richards notes that he was born a pagan, and "perhaps the rankest outsider" of all the Ostrogothic Popes, most of whom were members of aristocratic families. Pope Saint Symmachus was baptised in Rome, where he became Arch-Deacon of the Church under Pope Anastasius II.





English: Interior of Church San Martino ai Monti,
Rome, Italy.
Česky: Interiér Kostela sv. Martina na hoře,
Řím, Itálie.
Photo: April 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Karelj.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Basilica was reconstructed by Pope Hadrian I in 772 A.D., and by Pope Sergius II in 845 A.D. The structure of the present Basilica follows the ancient Church, and many pieces had been re-used.

The Church is served by the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm. - Ancient Observance). It was granted to them in 1299 by Pope Boniface VIII; their ownership was confirmed in 1559. The Church is the resting place of Blessed Angelo Paoli, O.Carm. (1642–1720), who was revered throughout Rome for his service to the poor; he was Beatified on 25 April 2010.




A lithography of Pope Sergius II, 
made before 1923.
Pope Sergius II (844 A.D. - 847 A.D.) 
reconstructed the Basilica in 845 A.D.
(Author: Unknown).
(Wikimedia Commmons)


The most recent Cardinal-Priest of the Titulus Ss. Silvestri et Martini in Montibus was Armand Razafindratandra (who died on 9 January 2010). The current Cardinal-Priest of the Titulus Ss. Silvestri et Martini in Montibus is Polish Archbishop of Warsaw, Kazimierz Nycz. Among the previous Titulars were Pope Pius XIPope Paul VI, and Alfonso de la Cueva, Marqués de Bedmar.

Further transformations were executed in the 17th-Century by Filippo Gagliardi. In the mid-17th-Century, a series of frescoes, architectural additions, and Altarpieces were commissioned including series landscape and architectural frescoes of typically biblical scenes by Gaspar Dughet and Galgliardi.



File:San Martino ai Monti interior 3.jpg

The High Altar.
Basilica of Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: August 2006.
Uploaded by Kurpfalzbilder.de
Author: Francesco Gasparetti from Senigallia, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)


There is a fresco by Jan Miel of Saint Cyril baptising a Sultan. Fabrizio Chiari (now overpainted by Antonio Cavallucci) painted a Baptism of Christ. Giovanni Antonio Canini painted an Altarpiece of Holy Trinity with Saints Nicholas and Bartholemew. The mannerist, Girolamo Muziano, painted an Altarpiece of Saint Albert. Galeazzo Leoncino painted a fresco of Pope Saint Silvester I holding the Council of 324 A.D. in San Martino.


File:San Martino ai Monti interior 2.jpg

Interior of the Basilica of 
Saint Sylvester and Saint Martin,
Rome, Italy.
Photo: August 2006.
Uploaded by Kurpfalzbilder.de
Author: Francesco Gasparetti from Senigallia, Italy.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Pietro Testa painted the Vision of Saint Angelo, the Carmelite, in the Wilderness. Filippo Gherardi painted an Altarpiece of San Carlo Borromeo. Cannini also painted the Martydom of Saint Stephen. Chiari also painted Saint Martin dividing his cloak with the beggar. Giovanni Battista Creppi painted "The vision of Saint Teresa". Matteo Piccione painted the Altarpiece of "Vision of Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi". Paolo Naldini painted the Saints on the upper register of the Nave (counter-clockwise starting with first on the Nave, to right, Ciriaca, Stephen, Fabianus, and Nicander, then left Nave, Theodore, Martin, Innocent, and Iusta. Daniele Latre painted Saint Anthony and John the Baptist on South Wall (counter-facade), while Naldini painted Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

The interior has three Naves with ancient Columns. A Votive Lamp, made in silver sheet, is housed in the Sacristy; it was believed to be Pope Saint Sylvester I's Tiara. Under the High Altar, are preserved the relics of Saints Artemius, Paulina and Sisinnius, brought here from the Catacomb of Priscilla. A mosaic, portraying the Madonna with Pope Saint Sylvester I, is from the 6th-Century.


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