Saturday of the Third Week in Lent
Station at St Susanna's
The Station is at the Church of St. Susanna, a Roman virgin who was martyred under the Emperor Diocletian. This sanctuary was one of the twenty-five parish churches of Rome in the fifth century. The analogy between the circumstances of the martyrdom of St. Susanna (11th August) and the account of the test of the chaste Susanna of the Old Testament, has decided the choice of the Epistle of the Mass for to-day.
As is often seen in the Lenten liturgy, both Epistle and Gospel illustrate the same thought. To-day both the Epistle and Gospel recall an accusation of adultery which falls back upon its authors. The Epistle speaks to us of the chaste Susanna who is innocent, and the Gospel of a woman who is guilty. God avenges the rights of justice with regard to the first by rewarding her virtue, whilst He opens the treasures of His mercy towards the second by pardoning her because of her repentance.
Moreover, the choice of the Gospel is explained by the fact that the stational procession must pass through one of the most infamous quarters of Rome, i.e. the Vicus Suburranus.
Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry: hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God. * For to Thee will I pray, O Lord: in the morning Thou shalt hear my voice.
Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui se affligendo carnem, ab alimentis abstinent; sectando justitiam, a culpa jejunent.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that they who mortify the flesh by abstaining from food, may follow justice by fasting from sin.
Pictures of Stational Churches: http://frcoulter.com/pics/station-churches/