Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran

St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome, is a must-visit for any pilgrim seeking a deeper connection with the Catholic Church’s rich history and spiritual heritage. As the oldest basilica in the Western world, it holds the title of the “Mother Church” of all Catholic churches, providing a profound sense of stepping into the very roots of Christianity. The basilica’s stunning facade, adorned with statues of Christ, John the Baptist, and John the Evangelist, invites you into a sacred space where the Church’s history comes alive. Inside, you’ll find magnificent mosaics, beautiful chapels, and the famous baldachin over the main altar, under which relics of St. Peter and St. Paul are preserved, offering a tangible connection to the early saints and martyrs of the Church.

Beyond its architectural beauty, St. John Lateran is a place of deep spiritual significance. As the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, it is where numerous important ceremonies and events have taken place throughout history, including papal coronations. Walking through the basilica and reflecting on its history, you can feel the profound legacy of faith that has been passed down through the ages. A pilgrimage to St. John Lateran not only allows you to witness the grandeur of its art and architecture but also to deepen your spiritual journey by connecting with the enduring history and traditions of the Catholic faith.

Don’t forget to visit the Holy Stairs (Scala Sancta), believed to be the steps Jesus ascended during his trial before Pontius Pilate, located across the street. Many pilgrims ascend the stairs on their knees in prayer.