Monday in Holy Week
The Station was originally held at SS. Nercus and Achilleus but the tottering state of this church caused it to be transferred in the XIIIth century to St. Praxedes'. The precious Pillar of the Flagellation, so called, brought over from the Holy Land by Cardinal Colonna at the time ofthe Fifth Crusade, was placed by him in this his titular church, where it is still kept. In exchange for the iron ring attached to this pillar St. Louis presented the church with the three thorns of the Holy Crown that are still preserved there. The relics of many martyrs, gathered from the suburban catacombs, were brought into this church under Pope Paschalis I.
In the Epistle Isaias, typifying Jesus prophesies His obedience and the indignities of His Passion. He likewise foretells His triumph, for He has placed His trust in God, who will raise Him to life again. Finally he shows how the Jews were to be confounded. Then the Gentiles through baptism, the public penitents by being reconciled, and the faithful by their Easter Confession and Holy Communion will pass from darkness in the light of which Jesus is the fount.
The Gospel tells of the supper of which Jesus partook in the house of Simon the leper six days before the Pasch. While Martha, all activity, served at table, Mary, more loving, went up to Christ, and breaking the big narrow neck of an alabaster vase filled with an ointment of great price poured the contents over His feet. And Jesus commends her for having thus anticipated the embalming of His body. The indignant protests of Judas lead us to fear the crime into which he will fall an a result of his avarice. Finally the presence at the supper of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised to life, is a forecast of the coming victory of Christ over death. The choice of this Gospel is not without connection with that of the Stational church: St. Praxedes and St. Pudentiana put their house at the disposal of Pope St.Pius I., like Mary and Martha received Jesus into theirs.
Judica, Domine, nocentes me, expugna impugnantes me: apprehende arma et scutum, et exsurge in adjutorium meum, Domine, virtus salutis meae. * Effunde frameam meam, et conclude adversus eos, qui persequuntur me: die animae meae: Salus tua ego sum.
Judge Thou, O Lord, them that wrong me, overthrow them that fight against me: take hold of arms and shield, and rise up to help me, O Lord, the strength of my salvation. * Bring out the sword, and shut up the way against them that persecute me: say to my soul, I am thy salvation.
(Psalm 34:1-3 from the Introit of Mass)
Da, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in tot adversis ex nostra infirmitate deficimus: intercedente unigeniti Filii tui passione respiremus.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who fail through infirmity in our many difficulties, may be relieved through the merits of the passion of Thine only-begotten Son.