Old Calendar: St. Matilda (Hist)
In Hebrews 9:11-15, St. Paul points out the infinite superiority of the Sacrifice of Calvary over the Old Testament sacrifices which could not make men internally holy but conferred only a cleanliness in the eyes of the Jewish law. Since Christ was not only true Man but also true God, His Blood has an infinite value and power; it cleanses the soul of its sins, and makes us live the life of divine grace. His Sacrifice not only blotted out "the transgressions which were under the former testament," but is an expiation for the sins of the whole world.
The Station, at Rome, is in the church of St. Stephen on Monte Celio. This church of the great proto-martyr was chosen as the place where the faithful were to assemble on the Friday of Passion week.
Meditation - God's Appeal to All the World
Pilate's "Ecce, Homo!" his appeal to the scornful multitude now on the point of breaking out into mob violence, was even more truly the mighty appeal of God's marvelous mercy to his chosen people and to all the human race."Behold the Man!" Behold the Lamb of God, the Son of the living God, in all these unsightly wounds, the most beautiful of men here disfigured beyond recognition, as one stricken by leprosy and all the other filthy diseases of mankind; yes, behold Him here, the most frightful symbol and demonstration of the monstrous evil of mortal sin ever to be given to the world; but even more, behold Him here, the clearest and the mightiest appeal of Heaven to all the world of souls to be converted and to rise from spiritual death to life, true and even divine."Behold the Man." O my soul, behold Christ Jesus there as the Lamb of God loaded with your own personal sins and bearing the ghastly wounds your sins inflicted on Him. Pray that you may recognize here, in this reed and purple and crown, God's very own caricature of your senseless pride, of the folly of your imaginary greatness. In that purple rag of a cloak see the sham honor and dignity in which your self-conceit and self-complacency clothe you! In that reed recognize the might of your strength in which you have been trusting. In that crown acknowledge the depth of humiliation you deserve for all your vanity and your open and secret envious ambition for recognition and authority and for honors and offices. O my soul, be honest enough to see and to acknowledge what a spectacle you are to all heaven in the light of the revelation in God's word: "Behold the Man!"Yet again, "Behold the Man!" Look on Him that you may be filled with hope and courage. Let the crushing truth you have just been making your very own, serve to crush your nauseating and contaminating pride in all its open and especially its hitherto hidden forms. Behold the Man, the Lamb of God laden with your sins, but only to wash them away and to cast them into the deep sea of oblivion; yes, and even to take away your stony heart and give you a heart of flesh, to put His own spirit in your midst, and to cause you to walk in His commandments and to keep His judgments and to do them (Ezech. 36:26-30); in a word, to make a way in your wilderness, that shall be called "The Holy Way." (Isa. 35:6-8.) — Our Way to the Father by Rev. Leo M. Krenz, S.J.
This princess was daughter of Theodoric, a powerful Saxon count. Her parents placed her very young in the monastery of Erford, of which her grandmother Maud was then abbess. Our Saint remained in that house, an accomplished model of all virtues, till her parents married her to Henry, son of Otho, Duke of Saxony, in 913, who was afterwards chosen king of Germany. He was s pious and victorious prince, and very tender of his subjects.
Things to Do:
- Learn more about St. Matilda here.
The Station today is at St. Balbina's, virgin and martyr (130), the daughter of the tribune and martyr, St. Quirinus. The church is ancient, and was probably built in the 4th century above the house of the consul Lucius Fabius Cilone. The first reference to it is found in a 6th century document, where it is referred to as Sanctae Balbinae. It was consecrated by Pope St. Gregory the Great.