Monday, December 5, 2022

Dedication of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome – Feast Day – November 9

The St John Lateran Basilica in Rome is also known as the Papal Archbasilica of Saint John or the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist at the Lateran.

It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and serves as the seat of the pope, the bishop of Rome.

We celebrate the feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome on November 9 every year in the Catholic Church

Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Rome - November 9
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Rome – November 9
Built on Groundbreaking started in the 4th century AD
Domicile Rome, Italy
Use Major Papal, Patriarchal and Roman Archbasilica Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in Lateran, Mother and Head of All Churches in Rome and in the World
Feast Day November 9

History of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome

St John Lateran Basilica is located 4 kilometers outside the Vatican City but within the City of Rome. It is the oldest Basilica and highest in rank among all other Churches in the Western world. 

Initially, the land where the Basilica stands was the residence of the Lateran Family. After some time, Emperor Constantine I acquired the land and donated it to the Bishop of Rome.

It first served as the residence of the pope (Pope Sylvester I) but later became the Cathedral of Rome.

It ranks higher than the other papal basilicas of St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro), Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica Papale San Paolo fuori le Mura), and Papal Basilica of St Mary Major (Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore).

There is an inscription on the front wall of the basilica that is written: “SACROS LATERAN ECCLES OMNIUM VRBIS ET ORBIS ECCLESIARVM MATER ET CAPUT” (“Most Holy Lateran Church, mother and head of all the churches in the city and the world”).

It was founded in 324 AD and it is where the cathedra of the Roman bishop is located. It is bestowed with the special title of the ecumenical mother church of the Roman Catholic faithful.

Over the years, in the middle ages, the Church building fell into ruins and was also damaged badly by earthquakes, wars, and two fires.

The first fire was in 1308 and the other in 1361. In 1309, Pope Clement V transferred the seat of the Papacy to Avignon, France. In 1377, the seat of the pope returned to Rome.

In the 16th century during the papacy of Pope Sixtus V, the Basilica was rebuilt, in the 17th century, the interior design was done, and completed the facade in 1735 during the papacy of Pope Clement XII.

Pope Clement XII inscribed these words on the facade of the Basilica: Clemens XII Pont Max Anno V Christo Salvatori In Hon SS Ioan Bapt et Evang.

This is loosely translated in English as “Pope Clement XII, in his fifth year as pope, dedicated this building to Christ the Savior, in honor of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist”.

Therefore, Saint John the Evangelist and St John the Baptist became the archbasilica’s co-patrons while Jesus Christ the Savior still remains the primary Patron.

Currently, the Lateran Basilica houses the tombs of several popes. Before its initial destruction by the fires in the 14th century, it housed other tombs for the early popes.

We celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran Basilica in Rome on November 9 every year in the Catholic Church.

Catholic Saint Feast Days in November

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