Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Lateran Basilica

Known as St. John Lateran Basilica, the pope's cathedral church, is a magnificent site containing the relics of the heads of both St. Peter and St. Paul in the most beautiful reliquary above the papal altar. The Lateran Basilica was the first "official" Christian church built in Rome (by Emperor Constantine) and for over one thousand years served as "the Vatican," the central offices of the Catholic Church until the Avignon Papacy in the 14th century, when the popes lived in and worked from Avignon, France.

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