Basilica of St. John Lateran: The Franciscan Connection

On November 9, Franciscans, along with the rest of the Catholic Church, celebrate the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

The Pope’s cathedral

As the Pope’s cathedral as Bishop of Rome, the Lateran played an important role in early Franciscan history, as it was the seat of government of the Church at that time. There Francis and his first brothers traveled in 1209 to seek the approval of Pope Innocent III for their way of life.

Basilica St John Lateran interior 700pxlsInterior of Basilica of St. John Lateran

Approving the Franciscan Rule

A story was told in Franciscan circles about Francis’s visit to a hesitant Pope Innocent:

On hearing [Francis’s response to his questions], the pope was greatly amazed, especially since, before blessed Francis’s arrival, he had seen in a vision the church of St. John Lateran threatening to collapse, and a religious, small and of shabby appearance, supporting it

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