|St. John Lateran--Main Entrance and Facade|
I went there to serve as a confessor in three languages--English, Spanish and Italian. Our order has been entrusted with ministering the Sacrament of Reconciliation there for several centuries. We have friars there permanently, but extras were needed for the jubilee and I volunteered to serve from June, 2000 to early January 2001 when the Jubilee ended. As the weeks and months moved on my personal experience mirrored the history of the place.
While I obviously cannot comment on things told to me in the confessional I can truly say that the role of this place as mother of all churches came alive in the variety of people that I met while celebrating this beautiful Sacrament. I literally encountered people from every continent and from countless countries who came there to find The Lord's mercy. I also found that the structure of the basilica was a microcosm of the Church as a whole. The pictures here tell some of the story.
Below one sees the main aisle with immense statues of the 12 apostles, representing the Apostolic foundation of the Church.
Finally, I could not fine a picture for the aisle to the right but that was the place where various searchers and seekers milled around and perhaps entered a souvenir chop which is there.
When you put all of that together you get a wonderful picture of what the Church is--a great mystery uniting in Christ saints, sinners and seekers alike.
Finally, if you would like to visit this basilica as well as others in Rome and Assisi, please join my pilgrimage in October, 2016