This Sunday, November 9 is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran
The following information is from americancatholic.org:
Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they
are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the
Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.
The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when
Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran
family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and
the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were
consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to
find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.
Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of
Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned
with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the
Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the
remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter
himself celebrated Mass.
Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches (St. Mary Major,
August 5; Sts. Peter and Paul, November 18), this anniversary is a
feast. The dedication of a church is a feast for all its parishioners.
In a sense, St. John Lateran is the parish church of all Catholics,
because it is the pope’s cathedral. This church is the spiritual home of
the people who are the Church.