November 9 is the Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. Fr. Steve Grunow offers his homily on the significance of this day, both within the life of the Church and within our own understanding of what it means to be a dwelling place of Christ.
Today the Church remembers the dedication of the great basilica church of St. John Lateran in Rome.
The Lateran Basilica is the cathedral church of the Holy Father as he is bishop of Rome. The magnificent building stands on land that was given to the bishops of Rome by the Emperor Constantine. Remember, it was during the reign of the Emperor Constantine that the laws restricting the practice of the Church’s faith were removed from Roman Law and the Church went from being an illegal cult, whose profession of faith was considered an act of treason, to being the favored religion of the Roman emperor.
This changed the Church for good and for grief.
One of the most arresting features of the Basilica of St. John Lateran are monumental statues of the twelve apostles that stand as if they are supporting the ceiling of the church. Larger than life and full of dramatic intensity, the sculptures show the Apostles holding the instruments of their martyrdom. The Apostles are represented, not as they were on earth, but how they are in heaven...