Monday of the Fourth Week in Lent
Station at the Four Holy Crowned Martrys
The Station is on Mount Caelius, in a church erected in the seventh century in honour of four officers of the Roman army who, having refused to adore a statue of Aesculapius, received the crown of martyrdom. These were the "Four Crowned Ones" whose relics are venerated in this sanctuary, together with the head of the martyr St. Sebastian, an officer of the army of Diocletian. It was one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome in the fifth century.
The Epistle relates to us the famous judgment of Solomon. One of the two women who appealed to his justice, having suffocated her child whilst asleep, was jealous of her rival whose son was living. She represents the Synagogue, whose rulers, by their indifference, had stifled religious life in Israel and who were jealous of the Gentiles, to whom the Church had given life through baptism and penance. Penitents and catechumens prepared themselves for baptism and penance during Lent. Let us also prepare ourselves for our Easter confession.
The wisdom of Solomon, admired by the whole world, is a figure of the wisdom of the true Solomon, whose doctrine comes to regenerate the world. The Gospel of to-day establishes another superiority of Jesus over His royal ancestor: Solomon had built a temple rich beyond compare. Jesus speaking of His own Body throws this challenge to His enemies: "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise It up." He rises indeed the third day after His death. From the Church, His mystical Body, He drives out the unworthy, as He had driven out the tellers from the Temple, and receives into it all those who believe in Him. Let us make ourselves pleasing to God in body and in soul by the religious observance of the holy practices of Lent.
Deus, in nomine tuo salvum me fac,et in virtute tua libera me: Deus, exaudi orationem meam: auribus percipe verba oris mei. * Quoniam alieni insurrexerunt in me: et fortes quaesierunt animam meam.
Save me, O God, by Thy name, and in Thy strength deliver me: O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth. * For strangers have risen up against me: and the mighty have sought after my soul.
(Psalm 53:3-4 from the Introit of Mass)
Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut observationes sacras annua devotione recolentes, et corpore tibi placeamus, et mente.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as we keep with devotion year by year this holy fast, we may please Thee both in body and soul.
Basilica of the Four Holy Crowned Martyrs: http://www.santiquattrocoronati.org/index_enn.htm