Sunday, November 09, 2008

Feast of Dedication of the Archbasilica o Our Saviour - click for link

Today we celebrate the end of persecusion of Christians in ancient Rome - the patriarchal Basilica of St John Lateran or Our Saviour Basilica was built and consecrated when Christian were allowed to practice openly their faith. St John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics, for it is the Pope's parish, the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church. This is what Dom Gueranger writes about the Feast (link to full post in the title):

The Emperor Constantine had placed the imperial treasure at the disposal of the bishops; and he himself stimulated their zeal for what he called in his edicts the work of the churches. Rome, the place of his victory by the Cross, the capital of the now Christian world, was the first to benefit by the prince’s munificence. In a series of dedications, to the glory of God and the holy Apostles and Martyrs, St. Sylvester, the Pope of peace, took possession of the eternal city in the name of the true God. Today is the birthday of the mother and mistress of all churches, called “of Our Savior, Aula Dei (God’s Palace), the golden basilica” (Ancient inscription once found on the greater apse. It is also called ‘St. John Lateran’—‘Lateran’ after its location in Rome and ‘St. John after St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, who are both specially honored therein). It is a new Sinai, whence the apostolic oracles and so many Councils have made known to the world the law of salvation. No wonder that this Feast is celebrated in the Universal Church calendar.