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Basilica of St. John Lateran

This Archbasilica: the ‘Most Holy Lateran Church is the Mother and Head of all the Churches in the city (of Rome) and of the world.’ This title is inscribed in the façade of the main entrance in Latin: Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput.

No Basilica is ranked above it, not even St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

It goes by two names: ‘The Basilica of St. John Lateran’ in honor of two great saints: John the Baptist and John the Evangelist; and ‘The Archbasilica of Christ Our Savior.”

It was built by Emperor Constantine and was the first Church to be built in Rome. It was dedicated to Our Savior, Jesus Christ, on 9 November 318 anno Domini.

It was vandalized by the Vandals who stripped the Church of its many treasures.

Pope Leo the Great restored it around 460 A.D. and later by Pope Hadrian… but in the year 896 A.D. an earthquake almost completely destroyed it.

The Church was rebuilt again and over the course of time suffered many fires.

The present Church is the result of efforts begun by Pope Innocent X, who reigned from 1644 to 1655, and incorporates remodelings that are found in the Church that stands today.

In 1726 its rebuilding was essentially complete and in that year Pope Benedict XIII consecrated the Church.

November 9th is the Feast of the Dedication Of The Basilica of Our Savior (also known as the ‘Archbasilica of St. John Lateran’).

Let us pray (Oremus).

O God,

Hear the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee and grant that the material growth of Thy Church may be accompanied by a deepening spiritual development in her.

Through Jesus Christ.


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