Way down under St. Peter’s Basilica is where St. Peter’s body is buried. It also is where the pope usually offers Holy Mass and holds his weekly audiences. But the true mother church of all the Catholic Churches is the Arch-Basilica, popularly know as St. John (Lateran) after the place in Rome where it is located. It is name so for St. John the Baptist who is honored at this basilica.
But it is also known by it’s ancient name, Arch-Basilica of Our Divine Savior and also called Aula Dei (God’s Palace) and the Golden Basilica. It is from this Basilica that the Roman Pontiffs officially take possession of the see as Bishop of Rome.
This all began when Constantine was baptized in 326 by Pope St. Sylvester and miraculously was cured of leprosy. His soul was cured of the effects of his sins and his body became healed as well. In gratitude for his physical and spiritual healing, Constantine gave his Lateran Palace to Pope Sylvester and built a church next to it.
Constantine had become the Roman Emperor by winning the battle of Milvian bridge on October 28, 312. The night before, Jesus appeared to him and showed him the Sign of the Cross and said, In Hoc Signo Vinces (In this Sign Win). Jesus also told him to put the cross on all his standards and shields. Constantine went on to win all the Roman Empire, East and West.
A year later in 313, Constantine issued the Edict of Toleration where all religions, including the Catholic religion were free to practice their faith in public without persecution. This is when Catholics were able to start building public churches.
Before this, they had to meet on the first day of the week (Sunday) in houses, catacombs and other places to pray, hear the Bible and offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. So once the Catholics could have churches, Pope Sylvester decreed that all altars be built of stone.
On the day of the dedication of the Arch-Basilica of the Divine Savior by Pope Sylvester, November 9th, there appeared miraculously in front of all the Romans an image of Our Savior on the wall.
We traditional Catholics need to pray for more miracles to help us fight the battle agains the heresies in the Church. God will eventually help, but remember how many years (300 years) the early Catholics were tortured to death for the faith. Finally Constantine was converted and things changed.
Let us now remember his mother St. Helen. She had been praying and talking to her son for years. So through the prayers of a holy mother an empire was conquered. Let us never stop praying and having faith that Jesus will hear our prayers and save us from this dark time in and outside the Church.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.