Wednesday of Week V of Lent

Pope Marcellus I was arrested by Emperor Maxentius, but was freed by Lucina, a Roman woman, who hid him in her house. The emperor eventually found the pope, had the house turned into a stable where Marcellus was forced to work and died. The house was converted into the Church of St. Marcellus in the later 4th century, becoming one of the first 25 parishes. The church was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1519.

The church has been administered by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary, or Servites, since 1369. The order was founded by seven founders in 1233, and these seven saints are celebrated as an optional memorial in the General Roman Calendar.

Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, archbishop of Florence, is the new Cardinal-Priest of the titular church. He was created cardinal a month ago by Pope Benedict XVI.

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