Day II. Thursday after Ash Wednesday.
"May everything we do begin with your inspiration, continue with your
help, and reach perfection under your guidance" (Collect for today).
Today's Station Church is San Giorgio in Velabro. The ancient church
already existed in the 5th century. In the 7th century, it was dedicated
to Saint Sebastian, the Roman soldier who was martyred by Diocletian
(297-305). It was made a Station Church by Pope Gregory II (715-731). Pope
Saint Zachary (741-752) brought the head of Saint George here and made him
a co-patron of the church. The relic is now under the altar. Saint George,
the famed "dragon slayer", like Saint Sebastian, was a soldier martyred
during the Diocletian persecution (284-305). He died in Cappadocia
(Turkey). The fresco in the apse is of Christ in the center flanked by the
Blessed Mother and Saint George on his right and Saints Peter and
Sebastian on his left. The Church was once under the patronage of Cardinal
Newman. It was bombed in 1993 by the Mafia after the Holy Father spoke out
against them. It was then restored.