Station Church 47: Santa Maria Maggiore
I wish you all a very happy Easter: may the Risen Lord grant you every blessing and grace on this holy day, and throughout the entire Easter season. After the weeks of Lent, the Church begins the great feast - seven weeks of celebrations. Gathered around the Paschal Lamb, sacrificed, but now raised to glory, we feast in one long Passover - this holy season really is, if I take the Jewish celebration, our Feast of Weeks!
The pilgrimage of Station Churches comes to the Basilica of St Mary Majors again. This connects the birth of the Lord with his Resurrection. In his conception and nativity, born of the Virgin Mary, we see the mystery of the Incarnation. That mystery emerges into the Paschal Mystery where Jesus, God made man, destroys death by his dying and confers new life by rising from the dead. Our Lady, Mother of God and Mother of the Church is witness to both of these divine actions. And so on this day we come to her Sanctuary to celebrate with her and to learn more from her. She is the first disciple, she can show us how to be good disciples.
Morning light shines through the dome of St Mary Major's
I am surprised that I actually got through the Station Churches this Lent. I hope they gave you some idea of what the annual pilgrimage is like. I am aware of glaring failures, so I ask your pardon. I will continue the series over Easter Week because while the Lenten Stations end, there is a Roman custom of Easter Station Churches. The posts will be very short and most of them scheduled because I leave for Italy on Easter Tuesday on the Fraternity pilgrimage to the Canonisation of Blessed John Paul II. You will all be remembered in my prayers.
Now, enjoy the day and the season!