Friday of Week V of Lent

Dedicated by Pope Simplicius to St. Stephen around 470 after the body of the protomartyr was found in Jersualem, the Basilica of St. Stephen in the Round on the Celian Hill s the first circular church in Rome, modelled upon the Basilica of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Inside, the outer walls host 24 famous frescoes, depicting scenes of horrific martyrdom. The church is one of the handful churches which have survived their original 5th-century structure.

Cardinal Friedrich Wetter succeeded to the see of Munich in 1982 after Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, was appointed as President of the Holy Office. Wetter was created cardinal in 1985 and was given this titular church. He served the German archdiocese for 22 years before retiring.

The previous Cardinal-Priest was József Mindszenty, the famous primate of Hungary who suffered tremendously under the Communist rule.

This historic church also serves as the national church of the Hungarians. One of the chapel is dedicated to St. Stephen of Hungary, king from 1000 to 1038.

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