Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dedication of St John Lateran

To think I was in the Lateran Basilica only a few months ago... I must say, I wasn't that taken with it (!), but probably that's because I was rushing through on my way helter-skelter to a number of important shrines that day: from St Peter's, I'd walked to St Mary Major's, then - after swiftly passing through St John Lateran - I did the Holy Stairs, and then hurried on to veneratethe relics of the Passion at Santa Croce, before walking yet further...

What struck me about the Lateran was the nave with its huge statues of the Apostles.

However, the significance of the Lateran is that it - not St Peter's - is the Cathedral of Rome: hence it is the Mother and Head of all churches in the City and throughout the wide world; there the Pope has his chair, his cathedra, his throne, and from there he teaches the nations. And it is the Papal Archbasilica of Our Saviour, for all stems from Christ, Who is our King, and King of all; and the Pope, Father of Christendom, is His Vicar, granted full ordinary power to bind and loose, till He come again.

What strikes me, now I think about it, is that this day marks an important anniversary for a priest and prelate who's been a great influence on me: on this day in 1965, the future Bp Jarrett of Lismore was received into the Church, after he had been for some years an Anglican minister. Hence his episcopal motto: Supra firmam petram - Upon solid rock. It was the antiphon at None on that day.

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