Welcome to the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran.
Since it is the feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran, I thought I’d bring out the big guns. So why does anybody care about the dedication of a particular church, especially not one in the Vatican? Well… this church WAS the original Cathedral parish of the Bishop of Rome. It is not in Vatican City, but is still owned by Holy See. It was consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester as Domus Dei, or “House of God.” (Thanks, Wikipedia, Famouswonders.com, and the Catholic Encyclopedia) It is the oldest church in the Western World, has been rebuilt many times, but the facade is relatively new. You have to go around back to really see the ancientness of this building. Dr. Hahn has more insights here.
But we’ll linger a little while on the exterior.The notes on this image say, “Jesus Christ surrounded by St. John the Evangelist, St. John the Baptist and Doctors of the Church.”
The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
⇑Photographer: cat’s_101Taken on: 2005-02-06 Original source:Flickr.com, North Gate.He said to me,
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
But wait, there’s more.
⇑ This is the tomb of St Leo XIII, who indeed was a Lion of the Church. He elevated Bishop Newman to Cardinal, and restored the Scottish hierarchy.
There is really so much here, that I can only share a small segment of the wonderful images of this holy space. Enjoy!