Day III. Friday after Ash Wednesday
Lord, through this Lenten Eucharist may we grow in your love and service
and become an acceptable sacrifice to you. We ask this through Christ our
Lord" (Prayer Over Gifts for today).
Santi Giovanni e Paulo. Saints John and Paul were officers of the Imperial
Court in Constantinople but returned home to serve Julian "The Apostate"
(emperor 331-363). They were asked to prove their fidelity to the empire
by renouncing their God in favor of the deities of the State. They refused
and were beheaded in their home on 26 June 362.
A church was built over the site of their home in 398. It was rebuilt
several times and is now one of the finest baroque churches in Rome and
home to the Passionists. In fact, St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1755) is
buried here. It was the titular church of Pius XII and New York Cardinals
Spellman, Cooke, O'Connor, and now has Cardinal Egan as protector.