Lateran Basilica

Today we celebrate the Feast of The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  Have to confess in years past it wasnt’ a Feast that much engaged or inspired me.  I am not sure when that changed but it did somewhere along the line through, I imagine, visits made to Rome and to the Irish College which is very near the Basilica.  Some years ago I celebrated the Wedding Mass of two friends in the Baptistery Chapel next to the Basilica.  Maybe that brought it to life for me.  Not just a big building anymore but a place where good friends said a prayer, made a life choice and celebrated a Sacrament.  Last year I was back in Rome for another wedding – this time in the Irish Franciscans Church but I paid a visit to St John Lateran.  I put these words on the blog around those days and thought it might be a good day to re-visit them.

In any case I got on the Metro and a few stops later was beside St John Lateran Basilica – regarded as the major church in Rome, even ahead of St Peter’s.  It’s a very impressive building.

Basilica of St John Lateran

Basilica of St John Lateran

Interior View

Interior View

Though I didn’t think to take photos of them, one of the things I love about this Basilica is that around the walls of it are twelve life size statues of the Twelve Apostles.  It is as if they are still keeping a watchful eye on the Church.  A consoling thought for sure.


(Sunday 7th September:  Update!  I went back there today and was able to attend Evening Mass.  It was powerful to see this Basilica in its role as a place for the Faithful to gather in prayer.  I noticed Confessions were also taking place but not in English so I had to give that one a miss!  Could have been my chance to go to someone who didn’t understand me:) I stayed on for Mass and was happy to do so.  The priest sounded very like Pope Francis in his tone and delivery.  After Mass I took photos of the twelve.  Only then did I notice that Judas’ place is taken by Paul – the Apostle called from the Road to Damascus.)