Station days

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Certain days on which the Pope formerly celebrated Mass in one of the so-called ‘station churches’ in Rome. There is early evidence for the observance of stationes, but apart from the fact that such observance involved fasting, it is unclear what it consisted of. At Rome from the 4th cent. the solemnity was enhanced by processions of clergy and people from one church, called collecta, to the station church, where the Pope was to offer Mass. According to tradition it was Gregory V who assigned its special church to each of the station days. The Papal station Masses fell into disuse, especially during the exile of the Popes at Avignon, but traces of the custom survive in the indulgences attached to visits to the station churches.

Subjects: Christianity.

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