Today, I want to share some photos of one particular place. Last Sunday afternoon, I had some free time, so I took the Rome subway to the the Church of Saint John Lateran. It was wonderful to celebrate yesterday's feast of this church's dedication, having been there just a week before. As you know, this is the site of the first Church in the West and its baptistery is quite significant. It is the oldest batpistery in all of Christendom.
It was a glorious late afternoon in Rome. Here are a few photos of the exterior.
A late afternoon Mass was being celebrated inside, so I was able to take a few photos from the rear of the archbasilica.
Around the corner is the ancient baptistery. Too many people miss it. Here are some photos of the exterior.
The light was just beautiful inside the baptistery. Obviously there has been much added to this building over the centuries. It is breathtaking, especially when one considers its history.
I took a few photos looking up from the edge of the center section.
Along the exterior of the structure built above the font is an inscription. It goes all the way around, inscribed on all eight sides of the structure. You can see some of the inscription here, just below the burst of light:
Here is a translation of the inscription:
Here is born a people of noble race, destined for Heaven,
whom the Spirit brings forth in the waters he has made fruitful.
Mother Church conceives her offspring by the breath of God,
and bears them virginally in this water.
Hope for the Kingdom of Heaven, you who are reborn in this font.
Eternal life does not await those who are only born once.
This is the spring of life that waters the whole world,
Taking its origin from the Wounds of Christ.
Sinner, to be purified, go down into the holy water.
It receives the unregenerate and brings him forth a new man.
If you wish to be made innocent, be cleansed in this pool,
whether you are weighed down by original sin or your own.
There is no barrier between those who are reborn and made one
by the one font, the one Spirit, and the one faith.
Let neither the number nor the kind of their sins terrify anyone;
Once reborn in this water, they will be holy.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.