Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Monday, 16 February 2015

Lenten Station Days.

Please note: Zephyrinus will be Posting every day during Lent on The Lenten Stational Church for that day. It is humbly offered as an aid to every Reader's Lenten Journey of Introspection, Penance, and Prayer.

Roman Text is taken from the Web-Site of The Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church at

or from Wikisource at

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

File:Crepescular rays in saint peters basilica.JPG

Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome. 
One of the Lenten Stations.
Crepuscular rays are regularly seen in Saint Peter's at certain times each day.
Photo: 6 October 2008 (original upload date) (2 July 2008 (according to EXIF data).
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBot.
Author: Jraytram at en.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Lenten Station Days were days of Fasting in the Early Christian Church. The practice of keeping "Stations" died out during the Avignon Papacy, but was revived by Pope Leo XIII and Pope John XXIII.

Pope Gregory the Great, 590 A.D. - 604 A.D., designated certain Churches in Rome as "stationes" and recommended that, on the more Solemn Festivals, they should be made Stations (stationes fieri) until the Hour of Sext, and at these same Churches on the appointed days (statis dicbus) The Faithful should assist at The Daily Office.

Today, they are Days associated with Processions to particular Churches in which The Faithful may gain certain Indulgences.

From as early as the 3rd-Century, the Church of Rome observed the Season of Lent by journeying each day, while singing the Litanies of The Saints, to a "Station Church" or one of the ancient and prominent Churches of Rome.

File:SantaMariaMaggiore front.jpg

Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Saint Mary Major). 
One of the Lenten Stations.
Photo: Taken by Jack Curran, December 2005. 
Original upload date: 7 January 2006.
Source: Transferred from en.wikipedia
Author: Original uploader was JACurran at en.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

Here the Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father, would lead the people in Prayer as they honoured the Holy Martyrs of Rome. The Holy Relics of the Saints are exposed on this day and the Holy Mass is celebrated. It is a Pilgrimage of Faith, a symbol of unity, and an incentive for us all to adhere more fully to the Gospel.

In the 6th-Century, Pope Saint Gregory I ("The Great"), 590 A.D. - 604 A.D., designated it as a Lenten Practice. Unfortunately, the custom ceased during the Avignon Papacy, in 1305, but interest was revived by Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th-Century. Pope Saint John XXIII fully restored the custom in 1959 and it continues to this day. As our Holy Father, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, reminds us:

“These Rites retain their value, despite the passing of Centuries, because they recall how important it also is in our day to accept Jesus’ words without compromises: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross, daily, and follow me” (Lk 9:23) (Benedict XVI, Ash Wednesday Homily, 1 March 2006).

File:Roma San Paolo fuori le mura BW 1.JPG

English: Basilica of Saint Paul without-the-Walls,
Rome, Italy.
One of the Lenten Stations.
German: Rom, Sankt Paul vor den Mauern, San Paolo fuori le mura
Italiano: Statua di San Paolo di fronte alla facciata della 
Photo: May 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Berthold Werner.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following information is taken from Wikisource at
which states information from The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), "Station Days", by Henri Leclercq.
The following is the List of The Station Churches, as it was compiled in the time of Pope Saint Gregory I (6th-Century): 

Patriarchal Basilicas:
S. Giovanni in Laterano, S. Pietro, S. Maria Maggiore, S. Paolo Fuori le Mura, S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mura; 

Cardinalitial Titles:
S. Sisto; SS. Giovanni e Paolo, SS. Quattro Coronati, S. Clemente, S. Marcellino e Pietro, S. Pietro in Vincoli, S. Silvestro ai Monti, S. Prassede, S. Pudenziana, S. Eusebio, S. Vitale, S. Susanna, S. Ciriacos, S. Marcello, S. Lorenzo in Lucina, S. Lorenzo in Damaso, S. Marco, S. Anastasia, S. Nereo e Achilleo, S. Balbina, S. Sabina, S. Prisca, S. Maria in Trastevere, S. Cecilia, S. Crisogono; 

Diaconates (those which had been Stations before they were Diaconates):
S. Nicolo in Carcere, SS. Cosma e Damiano, S. Maria in Via Lata, S. Maria in Porticu, S. Maria in Domnica.

File:Santi XII Apostoli (Rome) apsis.JPG

Basilica of The Twelve Holy Apostles, 
Rome, Italy.
One of the Lenten Stations.
Photo: August 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Luc.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The number of Stations is eighty-six, and, that of the Churches being less, some of them have the Station several times in the year. Santa Sabina, the Station established by Pope Urban VIII for Ash Wednesday, is the most important of all because it was long customary for the Popes to repair thither on that day to distribute The Ashes to the people.

Persons desirous of gaining the Station Indulgences, first repair to a Church in the vicinity of the Station, in imitation of the ancient Collect, or gathering of the Clergy and the people, preparatory to the Procession.

In this Church, Prayers are recited from The Station Manual, consisting of Invocations to The Blessed Virgin and The Martyrs. Then begins the journey to The Station, accompanied by the Recitation of the Miserere, five Paters, the Ave and Gloria, and The Steps of The Passion of Christ.

On arrival at The Station Church, The Litany of The Saints is said, with Versicles and Prayers, ending with the "De Profundis". The Pope grants dispensations to all who are unable to go in person to The Stations, such as Cloistered Religious, prisoners, the sick, etc., who are free to visit their own Church and say the Prayers prescribed.

Cardinals and their attendants, and Prelates of The Papal Court, may gain the Station Indulgence by reciting certain Prayers in their Oratory. These Prayers are printed annually and distributed to the Cardinals and Prelates, who assist at the First Sistine Chapel of Lent.

BURNICRON in Etudes, CIV (Paris, 1905), 205-24.


File:Facade San Giovanni in Laterano 2006-09-07.jpg

Basilica of Saint John Lateran, 
Rome, Italy.
One of the Lenten Stations.
English: Main façade of the Basilica of St. John Lateran 
by Alessandro Galilei, 1735.
Italiano: Facciata principale della Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano (Roma)
progettata da Alessandro Galilei (1735).
Français: Façade principale de la basilique Saint-Jean-de-Latran (Rome) 
par Alessandro Galilei, 1735.
Photo: 2006/09/07.
Source: Own work.
Author: Marie-Lan Nguyen (user:Jastrow).
(Wikimedia Commons)

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