Saturday of Week I of Lent

The Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican is de facto the most important church in the whole world, as it is the site of the most solemn papal liturgies due to its size that can accommodate millions of faithful every year. It gives place to St. John Lateran as the most important church de iure in the world, which is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter.

St. Peter was cruficied around 64 AD on the Vatican Hill. Pope Cletus built a chapel over the site of his burial, where Christians in the next two centuries came quietly to venerate the first bishop of Rome. Things changed when Constantine converted in 312 after his vision of the Cross. He ordered a basilica built here the year afterwards. The first consecration of the basilica took place in 326.

We will return to this basilica on the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

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