Yearly on November 9th
Today, instead of the regular Sunday liturgy, the Church celebrates the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. The readings, the liturgy of that special day are used instead of the regular Sunday liturgy.
The Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of Rome.
This is not St. Peter's, but it is the Pope's cathedral.
Also called the Church of Holy Savior or the Church of St. John Baptist, it was the baptism church of ancient Rome. It was built in the time of Constantine and was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324. This feast became a universal celebration in honor of the basilica called "the mother and mistress of all churches of Rome and the world" as a sign of love for and union with the See of Peter.
We have to be honest and say that today’s celebration is also about the role of the Bishop of Rome in the life of the Church. This is not about power, but about service. Yet we all know that the reality of service is that it can turn into power. Thus we can pray in the liturgy today for the service in charity of the Bishop of Rome to the other bishops and to the universal Church.
The second reading reminds us that we are the Church, the temple of God. We are not the Church all by ourselves in some exclusive way. Each of us is the Church and yet together we are the Church. Each of us is a temple of God and together we are God’s people.
Abbot Philip, OSB