On February 14, 2021, Sunday Mass was broadcast live from the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome by Italy’s national broadcasting network, RAI 1.
This was part of an initiative from the Social Communications Office of the Italian Episcopal Conference. The Office asked the pastor, Friar Agnello STOIA, to have the Mass broadcast live during its “A Sua Immagine” [In His Image] program, before switching over to the Pope’s Angelus recitation. Normally, the program’s production crew covers locations all over Italy but this has become difficult due to the pandemic. Therefore, it was decided to select a few of the basilicas and churches closer to the capital in Rome. The Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles was chosen for Mass for the sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time.
The pastor presided over the Mass together with Friars Francesco SCIALPI and Simone Pietro SCHIAVONE. They attend this Mass every Sunday, along with many young families with their children who then remain for catechism. The hymns during the Mass were sung by the Basilica’s Cappella Costantiniana Choir, directed by Friar Gennaro BECCHIMANZI. The readings were entrusted to a member of the parish Caritas charitable institute and a catechist. The Prayers of the Faithful were composed by Friar Francesco PANIZZOLO and read by one of the mothers present in the congregation.
The historical and artistic introduction to the program, created under the direction of Father Gianni EPIFANI, and the splendid photography during the Mass, gave many Italians – including those residing abroad – a chance to learn more about the tradition of the Friars Minor Conventual at the Basilica of the Twelve Holy Apostles. The friars have been there since 1463, when their presence was requested by Cardinal BESSARIONE. In addition, viewers got to learn more about the spiritual heritage and beauty of the basilica, which enshrines the relics of the Apostles Philip and James the Lesser.
Friar Agnello STOIA