Tuesday of Week IV of Lent

Pope St. Damasus built the Basilica of St. Lawrence in the House of Damasus over his own house (hence the name) in the fourth century. It became one of the first 25 parishes of Rome. The pope had a strong devotion of the martyrs of Rome and built chapels over their tombs. Pope Damasus also commissioned St. Jerome, the great Father of the Church, to translate the Bible from Hebrew and Greek to Latin, now known as the Vulgate.

It is one of eight churches in Rome dedicated to the deacon-martyr Lawrence. Other churches include St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, St. Lawrence in Panisperna and St. Lawrence in Lucina which we visited earlier.

Presently, the basilica is incorporated in the complex known as the Chancery Palace where the tribunals and many offices of the Roman Curia are found, including the Apostolic Penitentiary, Apostolic Signatura and the Roman Rota. Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, is the protector of the Cardinal Title, who hosted the pope and 1.5 million youth during last year's World Youth Day.

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