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Day V.   Sunday, Week I.

"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Communion Antiphon for today - Mt 4:4)

San Giovanni in Laterano. Saint John Lateran is the Cathedral of Rome, one of the four major basilicas, site of five ecumenical councils, home of the popes until 1304 when they left for Avignon, and the first church to be dedicated to the Holy Redeemer (324). The Lateran family property was given to Pope Merchiades (311-314) by Constantine shortly after his conversion (10/28/312). Pope Sylvester I (314-335) built and consecrated the basilica in 324. During the consecration, a bust of the Lord appeared in the apse for all to see. Centuries later, it was placed under the additional patronage of Saints John the Baptist (10th C) and John the Evangelist (12th C).

The papal altar contains the relic of the original altar said to have been used by Saint Peter and the early Popes. Above it is the relics of the heads of both Saints Peter and Paul. It is no wonder it is considered "the Mother and Head of all the churches in the City and in the World (omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput).

San Giovanni in Laterano