Today Christians Commemorate the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica at Rome

Interior of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome
Image Courtesy: Indianapolis Museum of Art

(Franciscan Media) Many people think of St. Peter’s Basilica as the Pope’s main Church but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the Pope’s Church, the Cathedral of the Diocese of Italy Rome, where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first Basilica on the site was built in the 4th century when Constantine donated he had received from the wealthy ‘Lateran Family’ however that structure and its successors were damaged by fire, earthquake and the ravages of war but the ‘Lateran’ remained the Church where Pope’s were consecrated until the Pope’s returned from France Avignon, in the 14th century to find the Church and adjoining palace in ruins.

Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646 — One of Rome’s most imposing Churches the ‘Lateran’ towering facade is crowned with 15 colossalĀ  statutes of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, together with 12 Doctors of the Church. — Beneath its high altar rests the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds, Pope Saint Peter himself celebrated Mass.

More here from American Catholic

Related: Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome

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