Wednesday, March 25, 2009

St. John Lateran, Rome

Actually this church, the cathedral-basilica of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, is dedicated to Christ and St.s John the Baptist and John the Evangelist. It was built o n land belonging to the Laterani family or so I'm told. Along with St. Paul's Outside the Walls St. John Lateran is a favourite of mine. St. Peter's is too big but this church, though large is not so big that I feel overwhelmed. St Francis visited this church many times on his way to meet the Pope and a large statue of himself and his followers stands facing it. Nearby is the Cistercian abbey and church of Santa Croce (stand with your back to John Lateran and walk straight ahead) where one can see the relics of the crucifixion. We celebrated Mass here last year in the choir of the canons. The video shows the mosaics in the apse which were added to by two friars one of whom Jacopo Torriti painted the frescoes in the vault of the basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.

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