Saturday of Week II of Lent
Every year on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the pope leads a Eucharistic procession along Via Merulana from St. Mary Major to St. John Lateran, and passes by the Church of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, just 300 metres away from the destination. The church was one of the original 25 parishes of Rome. It overlooks the Basilica of St. Anthony that is on the opposite side of the street.
St. Marcellinus (priest) and St. Peter (excorcist) were under persecution by Emperor Diocletian around 303 AD. After an exorcism of the jailer's daughter, they freed themselves from the prison. The jailer and his whole family were later baptized into Catholicism. The two saints were martyred a year later, and their bodies were found through a vision. Although the church was dedicated in the fourth century by Pope St. Siricius, the relics of the two saints were not brought here to this church until 1256.
The newly-appointed Cardinal-Priest of the titular church is the Dominican Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and the President of the Czech Episcopal Conference, who became a cardinal less than a month ago. Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, the late Archbishop of Toronto who died less than a year ago, was the previous Cardinal-Priest. Blessed Pope Pius IX was also the Cardinal-Priest of this church before he was elected to the papacy in 1846. His remains can be found in the Papal Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside-the-Walls which we will visit tomorrow.