Friday, November 9, 2012

Feast of the Dedication of The Basilica of St. John Laternan

Although many of the major events in Saint Francis’ life are commemorated in Assisi, where we are headed on Monday, we did come across some wonderful tributes to Franciscanism today.
First, we visited Saint John Lateran or San Giovanni in Laterano, the Cathedral of Rome. This is where Saint Francis asked Pope Innocent III for approval to live the gospel life. To Francis, this meant to literally live as Jesus did. The Pope was unsure at first since what Francis asked for was so different. However, he had a dream of a man holding up the Church and he interpreted that man to be Francis. Thus, Francis received oral approval from the Pope. Lateran is also where Francis participated in a pastoral council in 1215 that focused on calling a crusade (which he was against) and a renewal of the Church (in which he played a big role.)

In the front of Saint John Lateran, there is a statue of Francis with his arms in the air. We unfortunately didn’t have time to see for ourselves, but Siena President Fr. Kevin Mullen says that if you walk about a quarter mile past the statue and turn around, it looks as if Saint Francis is literally holding up Saint John Lateran Cathedral.

Posted by sister Florence Vales OSC

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