Information is from the Canon Regulars of St. John Cantius:
Near this church the penitents used to pass through one of the most infamous of places, near the crossroads of Mercury and the Serbian walls, where there was the merulana necropolis (cemetery). That was where pagan Rome left the bodies of slaves and criminals to rot in the open, until the Christians built a chapel with the aim of venerating the Christian martyrs.
Two weeks from today, the Church will celebrate the mystery of the living and life-giving Bread, the first source of life and health. "For he that eats this Bread shall have life everlasting." "And unless you eat this Bread you shall not have life in you."
Preceded by two stational saints, the first Confessors, who were given public veneration in the Church — St. Sylvester and St. Martin — we will go to God's altar, to the Mystery of Life, to Him who will say also to us:" I say to thee, arise!"
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are chastised by fasting, may rejoice with holy devotion, and that our earthly affections being weakened, we may, more easily understand the things of heaven. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.