Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
“The anniversary of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, which was erected by the Emperor Constantine, has been observed on this day since the 12th century. This feast was at first observed only in Rome but later in honor of the basilica, which is called the mother church of Christendom, the celebration was extended to the whole Latin Church. This action was taken as a sign of devotion to and of unity with the Chair of Peter which, as Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote, ‘presides over the whole assembly of charity.'”*
“…Today is the birthday of this church, an occasion for celebration and rejoicing. We, however, ought to be the true and living temple of God. Nevertheless, Christians rightly commemorate this feast of the church, their mother, for they know that through her they were reborn in the spirit…We are indeed living and true temples of God. God does not dwell only in structures fashioned by human hands, in homes of wood and stone, but rather he dwells principally in the soul made according to his own image and fashioned by his own hand…Do we wish to celebrate joyfully the birth of this temple? Then let us not destroy the living temples of God in ourselves by works of evil.”**
*From the Liturgy of the Hours précis for the celebration of the feast.
**From a sermon by Saint Caesarius of Arles, Second Reading, Office of Readings, November 9th, Liturgy of the Hours.
Photography: San Giovanni in Laterano – Rome (The Papal Archbasilica of Saint John in Lateran [sic]), MrPanyGoff, 28 September 2016 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International, Wikimedia Commons.