Thursday, March 02, 2006

San Giorgio in Velabro

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.

Credit: Father Bill Swengros

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