One last word on the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, today, 9 November.
One of the best things about the Lateran is the 8-sided Baptistery, which I really love, though it is a beautiful church in general. There one reads:
Here is born a people of noble race, destined for Heaven, whom the Spirit brings forth in the waters he has made fruitful. Mother Church conceives her offspring by the breath of God and bears them virginally in this water. Hope for the Kingdom of Heaven, you who are reborn in this font. Eternal life does not await those who are only born once. This is the spring of life that waters the whole world, taking its origin from the Wounds of Christ. Sinner, to be purified, go down into the holy water. It receives the unregenerate and brings him forth a new man. If you wish to be made innocent, be cleansed in this pool, whether you are weighed down by original sin or your own. There is no barrier between those who are reborn and made one by the one font, the one Spirit and the one faith. Let neither the number nor the kind of their sins terrify anyone – once reborn in this water, they will be holy.
Thought for the Day – 9 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – “omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput…the Mother and head of all the Churches of the City and the World.”
Saint Augustine gives us a few a ideas to meditate on: “‘Jerusalem that is being built as a city.’ When David was uttering these words, that city had been finished, it was not being built. It is some city he speaks of, therefore, which is now being built, unto which living stones run in faith, of whom Peter says, ‘You also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house, that is, the holy temple of God’. What does it mean, you are built up as living stones? You live, if you believe, but if you believe, you are made a temple of God; for the Apostle Paul says, ‘For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple’.”
Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches, this anniversary is a Feast. The dedication of a church is a Feast for all its parishioners. In a sense, St John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics because it is the Pope’s Cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church.
We celebrate the dedication of this Church as the seat of the Bishop of Rome from which all other pastoral authority is derived. We honour the anniversary of a church’s dedication because a church gives full voice to the sacred Liturgy. The feast of the dedication gives full acceptance and capacity to live the ancient theological principle, legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi (the law of belief given through the law of prayer, or even more of short-hand, the law of prayer is the law of belief).
O God, who out of living and chosen stones, builds up an everlasting dwelling-place for Your Majesty – help Your people, who humbly pray to You and whatever material room Your Church may set apart for Your worship, let it bring also spiritual increase.
Quote/s of the Day – 9 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran
“What was done here, as these walls were rising, is reproduced when we bring together those who believe in Christ. For, by believing they are hewn out, as it were, from mountains and forests, like stones and timber; but by catechising, baptism and instruction they are, as it were, shaped, squared and planed by the hands of the workers and artisans. Nevertheless, they do not make a house for the Lord until they are fitted together through love”.
St Augustine (354-430) Doctor of the Church – Sermon 36
“God’s desire to build a spiritual temple in the world, a community that worships him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23-24). But this observance also reminds us of the importance of the material buildings in which the community gathers to celebrate the praises of God. Every community, therefore, has the duty to take special care of its own sacred buildings, which are a precious religious and historical patrimony. For this we call upon the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that she help us to become, like her, the “house of God,” living temple of his love.”
One Minute Reflection – 9 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran
He has strengthened the bars of your gates, he has blessed the children within you.…Psalm 147
REFLECTION – “Today’s feast, brothers, ought to be all the more devout as it is more personal. For other celebrations we have in common with other ecclesiastical communities, but this one is proper to us, so that if we do not celebrate it nobody will. It is ours because it concerns our church; ours because we ourselves are its theme. You are surprised and even embarrassed, perhaps, at celebrating a feast for yourselves. But do not be like horses and mules that have no understanding. Your souls are holy because of the Spirit of God dwelling in you; your bodies are holy because of your souls and this building is holy because of your bodies.”…St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
PRAYER – Almighty God, as we recall with joy, the Dedication of this house of Yours on each recurring anniversary, listen to Your people’s prayer and grant that our worship here may be a sincere and holy service, honouring Your Name and bringing us the fullness of redemption. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 9 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran
who from living and chosen stones
prepare an eternal dwelling for Your Majesty,
increase in Your Church the spirit of grace
You have bestowed, so that by new growth,
Your faithful people may build up
the heavenly Jerusalem.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ,
in union with the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – 9 November
The Papal Archbasilica of St John in Lateran (Italian: Arcibasilica Papale di San Giovanni in Laterano), commonly known as St John Lateran Archbasilica, St John Lateran Basilica, St John Lateran, or simply the Lateran Basilica, is the cathedral church of Rome, Italy and therefore houses the cathedra, or ecclesiastical seat, of the Roman Pontiff.
It is the oldest of and has precedence among the four papal major basilicas, all of which are in Rome, because it is the oldest church in the West and houses the cathedra of the Roman Pontiff. It has the title of ecumenical mother church of the Roman Catholic faithful.
The current archpriest is Angelo De Donatis, Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic, currently Emmanuel Macron, is ex officio the “first and only honorary canon” of the archbasilica, a title that the heads of state of France have possessed since King Henry IV.
The large Latin inscription on the façade reads: Clemens XII Pont Max Anno V Christo Salvatori In Hon SS Ioan Bapt et Evang; which is a highly abbreviated inscription which translates to: “Pope Clement XII, in the fifth year [of his Pontificate], dedicated this building to Christ the Saviour, in honour of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist”. The inscription indicates, that the archbasilica was originally dedicated to Christ the Saviour and, centuries later, co-dedicated to St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist. As the Cathedral of the Pope qua Bishop of Rome, it ranks superior to all other churches of the Roman Catholic Church, including St Peter’s Basilica and therefore it alone is titled “Archbasilica” among all other basilicas.
The archbasilica is sited in the City of Rome, outside and distanced from Vatican City proper, which is approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) to its northwest, although the archbasilica and its adjoining edifices have extraterritorial status from Italy as one of the properties of the Holy See, subject to the sovereignty of the latter, pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929 with Italy under Benito Mussolini.
This feast commemorates the Dedication of the Basilica of St John Lateran which, by a tradition dating to the 12th century, is said to have taken place on this day. It was dedicated as the first Catholic basilica in Rome, by Pope Sylvester in 324. Until the 15th century, the Lateran was the residence of the popes. It is the episcopal seat of the bishop of Rome, the pope and until the 15th century, it was also his residence. At first, the feast was kept only in the City of Rome but the, in honour of the Basilica, which is called the “Mother and Head of all Churches of the City and the World” (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput) it was extended to the whole of the Roman Rite as a sign of unity and respect towards the Holy See of Peter, the Holy Father and the Magisterium, which, as St Ignatius of Antioch wrote, presides over the whole assembly of charity.
In the year 313 the Roman Emperor Constantine declared the Edict of Milan, granting religious freedom to Christians. Constantine himself donated the palace of the Lateran, a portion of his wife’s dowry, to the Church for its basilica. The Lateran is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the pope, and, as such, it ranks as the “mother and head of all the churches in the city and the world.”
The pope celebrates the Holy Thursday liturgy at Saint John Lateran, surrounded by towering statues of the twelve Apostles bearing the instrument of their martyrdom. Above its towering 18th century façade can be seen the image of Christ Triumphant, surrounded by saints and doctors.
We are all members of our own local church, work for he universal kingdom of Christ, are also members of this “mother-church” in Rome.
The dedication of churches can be traced back to the Jewish practice of dedicating the Temple in Jerusalem to God. Once the Temple had been dedicated, there was a feast each year to celebrate the anniversary of the dedication. This feast was celebrated not only in Jerusalem but in every synagogue as well. Similarly, every Western Catholic church observes the dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome.
This feast helps us move beyond our narrow geographical confines to a sense of the universal Church.
The high altar and the 14th-century Gothic ciborium. The relic of the original wooden altar used by St Peter comprises the high altar. Above the ciborium are Sts Peter and Paul.
“Every place set aside for divine worship is a sign of that spiritual temple, which is the Church, made up of living stones: of the faithful united by the one faith, of the participation in the sacraments and of the bond of charity. The Saints, in particular, are precious stones of that spiritual temple”… Saint Pope John Paul II.
Dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran (Feast): The oldest and first in rank of the four basilicas of Rome, Italy. The name is derived from the Laterani family, on the site of whose palace the basilica stands. King Constantine presented this palace to the Church. Its annual celebration throughout the Latin Church is a sign of love and unity with the Papacy and Pope.
The original church building, probably adapted from the hall of the palace, was dedicated to the Saviour and from its splendour was known as the Basilica Aurea. Though several times destroyed and rebuilt, the basilica retained its ancient form, being divided by rows of columns into aisles and having an atrium with colonnades. The tasteless restoration of the 17th century changed its appearance. A monastery was formerly between the basilica and the city wall of which the cloister still remains. The original apse survived until 1878, when it was destroyed and a deeper apse built. The ancient mosaics have been preserved. The high altar, which is of wood and is believed to have been used by Saint Peter, is now encased in marble. In the upper part of the baldachinum are the heads of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. The baptistery is an octagonal edifice with porphyry columns. The font is of green basalt. This basilica has been the cathedral of Rome since the 4th century.
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzrS5oQ43oQ
Our Lady of Almudena: The Virgin of Almudena (Virgen de la Almudena) is a medieval icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image is the advocation of the Virgin that serves as a patroness of Madrid, Spain.
Intriguingly, however, its name derives from the Arabic term of Al Mudayna, or the citadel. There are various legends regarding the icon. One story is that in 712, prior to the capture of the town by the advancing Muslim forces, the inhabitants of the town secreted the image of the virgin, for its own protection, inside the walls surrounding the town. In the 11th century, when Madrid was reconquered by the King Alfonso VI of Castile, the Christian soldiers endeavoured to find the statue. After days of prayer, the spot on the wall hiding the icon crumbled, revealing the statue. Another legend is that as Christian soldiers approached the town, they had a vision of Mary imploring them to allow her to lead them into the city. Again the miraculous crumbling of the wall occurred, with the icon showing an entry route through the walls.
The Cathedral of Madrid is dedicated to this advocation of the Virgin and her feast day, 9 November, is a major holiday in Madrid.
St Agrippinus of Naples
St Alexander of Salonica
St Aurelius of Riditio
St Benignus of Armagh
St Francisco José Marín López de Arroyave
St Gabriel Ferretti
Bl George Napper
Bl Gratia of Cattaro
Bl Helen of Hungary
Bl Henryk Hlebowicz
St Jane of Segna
St Justo Juanes Santos
St Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi
St Luis Morbioli
St María de la Salud Baldoví Trull
Bl María del Carmen of the Child Jesus
St Theodore Stratelates
St Ursinus of Bourges
St Valentín Gil Arribas
St Vitonus of Verdun
Martyrs of Constantinople – 3 saints: A group of ten Catholic Christians who tried to defend an image of Jesus over the Brazen Gate of Constantinople from an attack by Iconoclasts during the persecutions of emperor Leo the Isaurian. The group of was seized by soldiers, condemned by judges for opposing the emperor, and martyred. The only details that have survived are three of their names – Julian, Marcian and Maria. They were martyred in 730 at Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Anastasio Garzón González
• Blessed Francisco José Marín López de Arroyave
• Blessed Justo Juanes Santos
• Blessed María de la Salud Baldoví Trull
• Blessed Valentín Gil Arribas