The “Station Mass” originated in Rome under the auspices of Pope Gregory the Great (590 – 604). They were conceived as a daily pilgrimage in the footsteps of the martyrs and saints. Pilgrims and penitents visited forty churches in Rome on foot and performed penitential exercises and celebrated Mass in each “stopping place” or “station”. In doing so, they were also following the example of Jesus who went out into the desert and fasted for forty days and forty nights in preparation for his mission. It is this “journey” which forms the spiritual background to the forty days of Lent and the journey each of us has to make into the desert of our own hearts and lives.