Friday, March 7, 2014


Today's station church is really special to me:  Sant' Agostino.  Located in the Centro Storico (historical center) of the City, just north and west of Piazza Navona, it is an early Renaissance church (15th century)--not ancient, but containing wonderful treasures. 

These include a depiction of the prophet Isaiah by Raphael, the high altar designed by Bernini, and a painting of Our Lady of Loreto by Caravaggio.  But these pale in significance (to me, at least) after coming to the chapel along and just past the left-hand side of the main altar.

Here is the tomb of St Monica, the Mother of St Augustine.  She died in Ostia, what was then the port city of Rome (and I have seen fragments of her original tombstone there), but her body was later transferred here.  She is entombed under the chapel's altar, but her older sarcophagus is also preserved here.

The most recent group I took to Italy (September 2013) went under the aegis of St Augustine, and we celebrated Mass in this church as the beginning of a pilgrimage that would ultimately end with Mass in Pavia, where Augustine's relics are enshrined. 

But I go to Italy often enough on my own, and when I am in Rome this church and this chapel are a required visit for me.  In this chapel I always pray the Rosary for my Mother (who else could be the patron of Mothers than St Monica, who prayed for her son for so many years, before he let God's grace work its effect in him)?

Mother's Day is not during Lent, but prayers for our mothers (living or deceased) are surely never out of place, most especially in this church, in this chapel.

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