The Feast of the Dedication of the
Basilica of St. John Lateran
Today, November 9 marks the anniversary of the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the oldest and the highest-ranking of the four major basilicas in Rome (the other three are St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Mary Major). With a rich history, dating back to Emperor Constantine, the Lateran Basilica is the symbol of the living Church on earth. This commemoration of the Feast of St. John Lateran celebrates the physical nature of our faith—a feast day devoted to a building, rather than a saint, standing as a monument to God and all that God does through the Church.
The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, where Pope Francis is the bishop. As the Bishop of Rome and successor of Peter, the Pope serves the whole Church all throughout the world.
Today’s anniversary reminds us of the power and wisdom of God which flows through Christ’s Church into the world.
On the façade of the Basilica are written the following words:
“omnium ecclesiarum Urbis et Orbis mater et caput”
“The Mother and the Head of all Churches of the City and of the World”
“Today’s feast celebrates an ever-current mystery: that God desires to build himself a spiritual temple in the world, a community that adores him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4: 23-24). But this occasion reminds us also of the importance of the concrete buildings in which the community gathers together to celebrate God’s praises.”—Pope Benedict XVI, St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, November 9, 2008
Prayer for the day of the Dedication of St. John Lateran:
Come, let us go to the house of the Lord!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever.