Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
For the second time in Lent (see First Sunday of Lent), the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Mother Church of the world, is the station church. Romans will come back here two more times this week to complete the Lenten stations. Although the basilica is in Rome outside of the Vatican City, it belongs juridically to the Vatican City State. Italy has no jurisdiction here. The same is true for other major basilicas, some catacombs and some churches.
Shown here is the central apse with the cathedra of the Bishop of Rome, illuminated by mosaics depicting Christ Jesus and other saints. After a pope is elected, he will come here to take possession of the cathedral. That is why Pope Benedict XVI sat on this chair on 7 May 2005 shortly after his election.
We will return to the Lateran Basilica on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday.