Station Churches

An Ancient Roman Tradition During Lent

Take a virtual tour of the Churches below

Countless parish churches around the world have Stations of the Cross during Lent. Rome has its station churches. Visiting these station churches has been a central feature of Christian life for at least 15 centuries.

The faithful make their way to a different church each of the 40 days of Lent for Mass and the singing of the Litany of the Saints. The pilgrimage to the shrines of the apostles and martyrs is an opportunity to pray for the Church through the intercession of the saints.

The practice of visiting the particular station churches dates back to the pontificate of Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604). Pope St. Gregory standardized the churches throughout Rome that would be used for the "statio," or stations, during the liturgical year. With time, the stations were moved to the Lenten season, but the list of churches has mostly remained the same since the time of Gregory.

The practice of the Lenten stations declined in the late Middle Ages and was revived after the Council of Trent in the 16th century. They became popular again in the past century, even though the Popes have ceased to preside over the daily stations.

Chris Nyborg's Guide to the Churches of Rome has great information and history about each of the Station Churches - special thanks to the Wayback Machine.

Take a virtual tour of the Station Churches

Ash Wednesday St. Sabina at the Aventine
Thursday S. Giorgio al Velabro
Friday Ss. Giovanni e Paolo al Celio
Saturday S. Agostino in Campo Marzio
I Sunday of Lent St. John Lateran
Monday S. Pietro in Vincoli al Colle Oppio
Tuesday S. Anastasia (S. Teodoro) al Palatino
Wednesday St. Mary Major
Thursday S. Lorenzo in Panisperna
Friday Ss. XII Apostoli al Foro Traiano
Saturday St. Peter in the Vatican
II Sunday of Lent S. Maria in Domenica alla Navicella
Monday S. Clemente presso il Colosseo
Tuesday S. Balbina all'Aventino
Wednesday S. Cecilia in Trastevere
Thursday S. Maria in Trastevere
Friday S. Vitale in Fovea (via Nazionale)
Saturday Ss. Marcellino e Pietro al Laterano (via Merulana)
III Sunday of Lent S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura
Monday S. Marco al Campidoglio
Tuesday S. Pudenziana al Viminale
Wednesday S. Sisto (SS. Nereo e Achilleo)
Thursday Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra (Fori Imperiali)
Friday S. Lorenzo in Lucina
Saturday S. Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano
IV Sunday of Lent S. Croce in Gerusalemme
Monday Ss. Quattro Coronati al Celio
Tuesday S. Lorenzo in Damaso
Wednesday St. Paul outside the Walls
Thursday Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti
Friday S. Eusebio all'Esquilino
Saturday S. Nicola in Carcere
V Sunday of Lent St. Peter in the Vatican
Monday S. Crisogono in Trastevere
Tuesday S. Ciriaco (S. Maria in via Lata al Corso)
Wednesday S. Marcello al Corso
Thursday S. Apollinare in Campo Marzio
Friday S. Stefano al Celio
Saturday S. Giovanni a Porta Latina
Palm Sunday St. John Lateran
Monday S. Prassede all'Esquilino
Tuesday S. Prisca all'Aventino
Wednesday St. Mary Major
Thursday St. John Lateran
Friday S. Croce in Gerusalemme
Saturday St. John Lateran
Easter Sunday St. Mary Major
Monday St. Peter in the Vatican
Tuesday St. Paul outside the Walls
Wednesday S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura
Thursday Ss. XII Apostoli al Foro Traiano
Friday S. Maria ad Martyres in Campo Marzio (Pantheon)
Saturday St. John Lateran
II Easter Sunday (in Albis) S. Pancrazio

So which ones should I visit? A: Besides the major and minor basilicas, the titular Churches are the older and more venerated places, the original "house" Churches of Rome, many before Christianity was legal, such as: St. Pudenziana (connected with St. Peter), Sts. John and Paul on the Aventine, St. Clement near the Colosseum (the 4th Pope), and St. Susanna (on Via Venti Settembre).
The Major Basilicas: St. Peters (Vatican), St. Paul's Outside the walls, St. John Latern, St. Mary Major
The Minor Basilicas: St. Sebastian on Appian Way, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, San Lorenzo (fuori le Mura)

Trivia buffs: What are the four most popular churches for weddings in Rome? A: Sts. John and Paul on the Aventine, St. Frances in the Forum, St. Cecilia in Trastevere, and St. Gregory the Great on the Coelian.

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