Dominicans set to welcome Pope Francis at Santa Sabina
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, marking the beginning of the season of Lent. Santa Sabina is the first of the traditional Lenten Station churches. Since the beginning of the thirteenth century, the church of Santa Sabina has been entrusted to the Dominican Order.
“We’re always very pleased that the Pope comes to Santa Sabina on Ash Wednesday, that Lent begins here for the Church,” said Father Vivian Boland, OP, a friar of the Irish Province. Father Boland is currently assigned to Santa Sabina, where he is an assistant to the Master of the Order.
Speaking with Vatican Radio, Father Boland spoke about some of the intentions the Dominican brothers will have for the Mass with Pope Francis. Listen:
Father Boland said the community at Santa Sabina will be praying especially for “our Dominican brothers and sisters in situations of great difficulty.” He mentioned especially the Dominican family in Iraq, who “are enduring an ongoing Lent, they’re having a very difficult time. And we have them especially in our minds this Ash Wednesday.” Fr Boland also spoke about the Dominicans in Ukraine, in the Central African Republic, and in “other parts of the world where there’s violence and war.”
The Dominicans are also preparing for the 800th anniversary of the foundation of their Order, which was approved in 1216 by Pope Honorius II. Father Boland said the jubilee is “a time for renewal, for us to reflect on our lives, and to try to be humble, be truthful, and dedicate ourselves again to the mission of St. Dominic.”
Finally, Fr Boland noted that the Leonine Commission, established by Pope Leo XIII in 1880 to produce critical editions of the works of St Thomas Aquinas, has published a new volume containing the sermons of St Thomas. “We treasure these sermons of St Thomas,” Fr Boland said, “because they also give us another insight into his personality, into what he was like as a person, even more than his philosophical and theological writings do.” Fr Boland said the Dominicans hope to present that volume to the Pope when he comes to Santa Sabina.