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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Basilica of St. John Lateran

Today is the feast day of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope's church (not St. Peter's Basilica) and the parish chirch of all Catholics. Here's a little from Wikipedia ...

Officially named Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris (Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior), it is the oldest and ranks first (being the only cathedral in Rome) among the four major basilicas of Rome, and holds the title of ecumenical mother church (mother church of the whole inhabited world) among Roman Catholics. The current archpriest of St. John Lateran is Camillo Cardinal Ruini, Papal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome.

An inscription on the fa├žade, Christo Salvatore, dedicates the Lateran as Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour, for all patriarchal basilicas are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, containing the papal throne (Cathedra Romana), it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican ...

And here's a quote from Augustine, courtesy of American Catholic ...

"What was done here, as these walls were rising, is reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechizing, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love" (St. Augustine, Sermon 36>).

- the Holy door

- the Pope's chair

- the nave


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. The history of that place just kind of boggles the mind.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to teach in a language school in the Piazza where the church is. It really is beautiful.

It is also the traditional meeting place for left-wing parties and labor unions. I saw BB King play there on May Day, as part of the union celebrations.

9:58 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Matthew, - it is amazing ... Constantine was there!

1:17 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Liam, I have to find a place to write about that you haven't visited :-)

That's interesting that unions would meet there - very spirit of the gospels.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

BB King, Live at the Lateran? Cool!

4:45 PM  

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