Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
Malvern Minute


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

November 9, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Book of the Prophet Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

Psalm 46

Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

John 2:13-22


            Today our Church celebrates the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome because it is the head and “Mother Church” of all churches in the world.  On the façade of the basilica, there is an inscription in Latin which reads, “The mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world.”  Interestingly the Pope’s cathedral is Saint John Lateran and not, as many presume, Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

            Why is that?  History gives us the answer.  In the early centuries, Christianity was outlawed in Rome and many Christians in Rome suffered martyrdom.  The Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and the famous Edict of Milan in 313 AD allowed Christians to practice their religion in public.  Constantine had been given the palace in Rome that belonged to the Laterani and after his conversion, he gave it to the Pope.  The Lateran Palace was then adapted to become a church and was dedicated on November 9, 324.  For the next 1000 years the Pope’s lived in the Palace and was his cathedral.  It was first called the Basilica of the Savior but later was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist and acquired the name Basilica of Saint John Lateran.

            Celebrating the dedication of the Pope’s cathedral today shows our unity with the Holy Father and our love and respect for him.  Not only that, but it shows that we are united with each other in the Church.

            As we celebrate the dedication of “The mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world” let us pray also for those who have gotten lost going through life that they may find the Church as a true mother and that Jesus may become the foundation stone and corner stone of their lives.     

Question of the Day:  Do you believe that Jesus is the foundation stone and cornerstone of our lives because there is a life-giving river flowing from Him to fill us with His grace?

Prayer:   “Lord, Your Church is a new temple for all the world, Your body and blood its greatest sacrament.  Yet wickedness has crept in among the righteous, Your holy place defiled by sin and human excess.  May we purge the associates of the evil one from Your holy places, and fill it with reverence and joy.  Amen.”  (Prayer for the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.”


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