Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pope marks Feast of Dedication of Lateran Basilica

Vatican City, Nov 9, 2008 / 12:08 pm (CNA).- Presiding over the recitation of the Sunday Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI commemorated the Feast of the Dedication of Rome’s Lateran Basilica. Calling Christians the ‘living stones’ of a ‘spiritual building,’ he reminded the faithful that God wants to build in the world a community that “worships him in spirit and truth.”

The Basilica, called the “mother and head of all churches of the City and the World,” was built after the Emperor Constantine’s Edict of Milan, which in 313 granted Christians freedom to practice their religion. The same emperor, the Holy Father recalled, “gave Pope Miltiades the old property of the family of the Laterans and built the Basilica, Baptistery and the residence of the Bishop of Rome, where the Popes lived until the Avignon period.”

He continued, “The dedication of the Basilica was celebrated by Pope Sylvester in 324 and the temple was dedicated to the Most Holy Savior; the names of Sts. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, for whom the basilica is commonly named, were added only after the sixth century.


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