The Basilica of Saint John Lateran was built under Pope Melchiade (311-314), it’s the most ancient church in the world. Due to the fact that the pope is also the bishop of Rome, Saint John Lateran – being seat of the bishop’s residence – is also Rome’s Cathedral.
Excerpt from the homily preached by Father Joe Agostino…
,,, we, gather here in Rome immersed in delight, to celebrate the work that God has done in us and in his Church. God has turned Vincent’s dream into a testimony of God’s great love for those living in poverty as well as for those who care for them.
It is right to begin these three days together in prayer. It is here where we are rooted to the Gospel we proclaim – Jesus, risen and present in our midst – revealed to us in Word, in sacrament, and in the least of our brothers and sisters in the eyes of the world.
It is right that we also begin by honoring Mary. Vincent had a great affection for her maternal care, and a special devotion to her Immaculate Conception. We ask that Mary, our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, shower us with graces so that these days together may be a blessed beginning to the next stage of our Vincentian journey together.
Visit Fr. Callaghan’s Pilgrimage page for full text and further background