(ZENIT News / Rome, 03.11.2023).- The Basilica of Saint John Lateran is preparing to celebrate its 1,700thanniversary. The important anniversary of the Arch-Basilica of the Holy Saviour and of Saint John the Baptist and Evangelist — inaugurated by Pope Sylvester in the presence of Constantine in the year 324 –, will be celebrated from November 9, 2023 to November 9, 2024. The Chapter of the Pope’s Cathedral and the entire diocese of Rome intend to propose in the course of the year 2023-2024 different religious and cultural activities to live the event.
“The Cathedral of Rome, Mater et Caput of all the Churches of Rome and of the world – underscored Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica –, is a very special point of reference for our diocese and for the universal Church. Breathed in it is the history of seventeen centuries, of a Basilica built and rebuilt three times, up to the present building of 1,700. Five Ecumenical Councils have been celebrated in it. In the See of the Cathedra of Peter, all Christians worldwide sense the bond with the Bishop of Rome. In this place we, Christians of Rome, acknowledge once again the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, pointed out by the Baptist. Here we feel beating, as the beloved disciple, the Heart of Christ the Saviour, consumed by love for all humanity. In the School of the two “John’s” we find the special vocation of our Church, called to preside in charity.”
Moreover, on the occasion of the anniversary’s celebration, the Office for Pastoral Care of the School and Teaching of the Catholic Religion of the diocese of Rome launches the competition “La Basilica Lateranense tra Fede e Storia” (The Lateran Basilica between Faith and History), addressed to the schools of all levels of the diocesan territory. The objective is to promote the historical and cultural learning that the Basilica has represented and continues representing as Cathedral of Rome, Mater et Caput, that is, Mother and Head of all the Churches of Rome and of the world. “In these seventeen centuries the Lateran Basilica has been and is at the center of numerous events, which have marked and continue marking the civil and religious fabric of the city of Rome and of all Christianity,” said Rosario Chiarazzo, Directress of the Office. “Students will be entrusted with the task to express, with their own sensibility through the new technologies, some characteristic aspects of this long history,” she explained.
Foreseen Is a Rich Calendar of Events and Celebrations
November 9, 2023: Dedication of the Lateran Arch-Basilica. Solemn Pontifical at 05:30 pm. The Choir of the Diocese of Rome, directed by Monsignor Marco Frisina, will perform hymns composed especially for the Dedication event.
November 14, November 21-28, December 5, 2023: Series of religious-cultural meetings organized by Monsignor Andrea Leonardo on the theme “From Constantine to the Avignon Exile.” The meetings include access to symbolic places of the Lateran Complex: the Logias, the Apse, some relics, the excavations.
December 17, 2023 at 09:00 pm: Christmas Concert of the Choir of the diocese of Rome, directed by Monsignor Marco Frisina.
January 21, 2024: Sunday of the Word. Invitation to read the Bible in the family and gift of the same (for those that do not have it) at the end of every Mass in the Basilica. There will be a meeting the previous afternoon on Dei Verbum.
February 18, 2024: Lenten Station. The parishes of Rome belonging to the Diocese’s Prefectures, during the whole of Lent, namely, until Palm Sunday, will take part in a Lenten pilgrimage to the Baptistry and to Saint John’s Cathedral, where they will relive the itinerary of Christian Initiation (Baptism – Confirmation – Eucharist).
April 7, 2024: Sunday in Albis: celebration to relive the baptismal dimension of the celebrated Easter
May 12, 2024: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. 10:30 am Solemn Pontifical Office. The special “titularity” of the Basilica is relived, dedicated to the Holy Saviour.
At 09:00 pm: “Concert of the Ascension,” directed by Monsignor Marco Frisina.
June 2, 20242, Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. At 05:00 pm, Solemn Vespers and at 05:30 pm Solemn Pontifical Mass.
November 1, 2024 at 09:00 pm: Concert In Hoc Signo. Scenes of Constantinian life, by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, directed by Monsignor Marco Frisina.
November 9, 2024: Dedication of the Lateran Basilica. Solemn Pontifical at 05:30 pm. Closing of the celebrations for the 1,700 years of the Lateran Arch-Basilica. At different times during the day, presentation of the Basilica from the Apse to the Baptistry.