Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I love this church (I know--I've already said that about a number of the station churches; true is true, though).  Santa Maria Maggiore is larger (that's why it's called "Maggiore/Larger"), but Santa Maria in Trastevere is older-- the first church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. 

It is an ancient site, associated with healing oil flowing in the piazza (pretty much where the fountain now is).  The church itself is 3rd/4th century and perhaps the oldest property owned by the Church (rivaling the catacombs of San Callisto on the Via Appia).

12th century mosaics adorn this church, inside and outside:  the apse (here) and façade (below) show their majestic beauty to great advantage.

My own most special memory of this church was while attending a Mass marking the 10th anniversary of the assassination (= martyrdom) of Archbishop Oscar Romero.  The church was packed, and the preaching (in Spanish) was powerful, emotional, pointed:  yet it was a magnificent celebration of the theology of liberation, properly understood, and of trust in the power of the Risen Lord.  I will never forget that Eucharist.

1 comment:

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