Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lenten Stational Church in Rome

Tuesday, last week in Lent
S. Prisca all'Aventino
(St. Priscilla of the Aventine Hill)

Built over an ancient temple of Mithras, this church is dedicated to a member of the earliest Christian family we know by name, Sts Prisca and Aquila.  As the Bible introduces them to us:

'[In Corinth, Paul] found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who arrived shortly before from Italy with his wife Priscilla, following the order of Claudius, who departed from Rome all the Jews.  (Acts 18:2-3)

"Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus to save my life they have risked their head, to whom not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles; greet also the community that meets in their house" .

(Paul's Letter to the Romans 16,3-5)

A convert and student of St. Paul's, Priscilla, who with her husband, Aquila, was a tent maker, was eventually martyred and is believed to be the same "Prisca" whose tomb can be found in the catacombs.

St. Prisca's is recorded as having been a titular church by the end of the fifth century, but was destroyed and rebuilt several times before it maintained the seventeenth century restoration we see today.  Of note is  a baptismal font preserved here that St. Peter is believed to have used.

You can find a gallery of pictures here and a short history here.

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