Coat of arms of the City of Rome, on the coffered ceiling of the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli on the Capitoline. SPQR is an ancient initialism for Senatus Populusque Romanus, “The Senate and People of Rome.”
The station church for the Thursday of the Second Week of Lent is S. Maria in Trastevere (c. 340). One of the oldest churches in the city, it may be the first where Mass was celebrated publicly after the legalization of Christianity in 313. (The first sanctuary on the site was constructed in 221.) The Ionic capitals in the nave were taken from the Baths of Caracalla and the Temple of Isis on the Janiculum. The mosaics on the facade and in the apse are from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Due to restoration works, today’s station at Santa Susanna had to be moved across the street to the seventeenth-century church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. Home to Bernini’s famous Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin after the 1620 Catholic victory at the Battle of White Mountain.