Feast of the Day – Dedication of St. John Lateran: Rome’s Cathedral
November 9 is the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
The Pope’s main Church is St. Peter’s Basilica -True or False? The correct answer is False. Interestingly, the cathedral for the Bishop of Rome – the Pope – is the Church of St. John Lateran. It was originally built in the fourth century on land that had belonged to the Lateran family but had become the property of the Emperor Constantine. St. John Lateran is the oldest and ranks first among the four great patriarchal churches of Rome. The present church was commissioned by Pope Innocent X in 1646.
How can you have a feast day celebration for a building? It is not about the stones and lumber. It is a celebration of Latin Christianity’s central parish of its central diocese. In a broader sense, the feast celebrates what the building is and signifies. The church building is an ancient Christian meeting place and symbolizes the center of the vast world wide community that is the Catholic Church.