Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 15 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of Avila
Aleteia logo
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Virtually visit St. John Lateran on Holy Thursday, day of the cathedral

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Marinella Bandini - published on 04/01/21

Station Church Day 43: The cathedral of the Bishop of Rome is a fitting stop on this day.

Aleteia invites you to a virtual Lenten pilgrimage through Rome’s 42 station churches: one church per day, from February 17 to April 11.

Day 43:

Holy Thursday is the day of the cathedral—in Rome, the day of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Pope. At one time on this day the pope celebrated the Chrism Mass here—with the blessing of the holy oils—as is done in all the cathedrals of the world. For some time now, this ceremony has been transferred to St. Peter’s.

Until 2012, the pope celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, with the “washing of the feet,” at St. John Lateran. With Pope Francis, this tradition was interrupted and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper has become “itinerant”: the pope on this day wants to reach the most marginalized environments, kneeling at the feet of the “discarded” of society. Because of the pandemic, this year, as in 2020, the “washing of the feet” is suspended and the pope will celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s.

Another particular tradition is linked to the Lateran Basilica: that of awarding the title of honorary Proto-canon to French presidents. This custom originated in the 15th century following some donations made first by King Louis XI and then by Henry IV to the Chapter of the Basilica. As thanks, the Lateran Chapter bestowed Henry IV with the title of Honorary Proto-canon. The tradition continues to this day.

Following the example of Jesus, every human authority is called to exercise their power in the service of their brothers and sisters.

So if I, your Lord and Teacher,have washed your feet, you alsoought to wash one another’s feet.John 13:14


Read more:
What is the difference between a basilica and a cathedral?

* In collaboration with the Social Communications Office of the Vicariate of Rome.

Read about the tradition of the station churches here. And see previous churches in the pilgrimage here.

Station Churches
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
Philip Kosloski
Pope Pius XII witnessed the Fatima “miracle of the sun” while wal...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.