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Day XII. Sunday, Week II.

"This is my chosen Son; listen to him" (Gospel for today Lk 9:35).

Santa Maria in Domnica. This Church was once the home of a noble Roman matron, Saint Cyriaca. During the time of persecution, Christians met there to worship, hence the name "Domnica" from the Latin word for house, dominus. She and Saint Lawrence took care of the poor and sick. Known for her generosity, she was accused of being a Christian and was scourged to death on August 23, 258. May our homes also be churches, places of prayer and sanctuary, and may we also be known as Christians by our charity.

The church itself is ancient. Paschal I (817-824) restored it. The apse mosaic is one of the oldest.

Santa Maria in Domnica

 It is important because it is the first depiction of the Christ Child on the lap of His Mother. They are surrounded by the angelic host and Pope Paschal kneels at their feet (his is still alive as he has a square nimbus). Also, for the first time in Rome, Christ is pictured above sitting on a rainbow, surrounded by a nimbus of light. He is flanked by the apostles. During a later alterations by Leo X, Raphael was the architect (1483-1520).