Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Stational Church for Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Today's Stational Church is at the beautiful Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
At one time, a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Paul in this Lenten penitential procession took on an exceptional character in view of the riches of doctrinal teaching, which has come down to us from the Apostle to the Gentiles.

For this reason, it used to happen, that in this particular Lenten Station, the Pope carried out a "third scrutiny" for the baptismal candidates—that is, for those catechumens, who wanted to be baptized in water.In this church, at the tomb of this great convert-exemplar, the catechumens, turning westward—towards darkness—renounced Satan, his pomps and his works. Then, turning eastward—towards the light—they pledged their loyalty to Christ and His Church.

Here at the tomb of the Apostle, who was "the salt of the earth," the catechumens received a morsel of salt. Accipe sal sapientiae—Receive the salt of wisdom! Receive the taste for the doctrine of God. Hereafter, speak no longer the language of the flesh, but let your conversation be heavenly.
Let us pray: O God, who grantest to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon through their fasts, have mercy on Thy suppliant people, that the confession of our guilt may enable us to obtain the forgiveness of our sins. Through Christ, Our Lord.Amen.

(Source: St. John Cantius Parish)

Here is some good information on this Basilica, the third major basilica of Rome:
Tourists visiting the third major basilica of Rome, San Paolo Fuori Le Mure (St. Paul outside the Walls). The "walls" refers to the Aurelian Wall, built by Marcus Aurelius in the 3rd Century as a bulwark against barbarian invasion. The place where the basilica is situated is called, "Tre Fontane" (The Three Fountains). Legend has it that three springs emerged from the spot where St. Paul's head hit the ground after he was beheaded during the First Great Persecution under the emperor Nero. The statue depicts St. Paul holding the sword with which he was beheaded. (Fordham)

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