A place of history and importance
The name of Plautius is remembered by few today, but the confiscation of his family’s property would keep the family name in the memory of hundreds of millions even to this day.
Less than three centuries after Plautius’ death, his family’s estate would be donated by the government to the newly legalized Christian church and its buildings converted into the cathedral church of the city of Rome.
The cathedral would be dedicated to the memory of St. John the Baptist, but the people of Rome also remembered the family of Plautius, the family that had made that place their home so many years before: the Laterani family.
Today the Church worldwide celebrates the anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral of Rome, St. John Lateran - Head and Mother of all Churches.
Nearly a millenia later, the basilica would figure prominently in a dream by Innocent III shortly after he was first visited by Saint Francis of Assisi.
At the far end of the church, tucked in the very center of the very back, stands a stone chair... not as ornate as one might imagine.
This is the Cathedra - the Chair of the Bishop - in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome.
This is the Cathedra of the Pope.
For most of us, chairs are what we use to relieve our burdens, if only for a little while.
Not this chair.
This chair is itself a burden: the most fearful burden in the world, for the man who sits in it has the burden of acting and teaching and speaking as the Vicar of Christ.
At the end of all things, when Christ takes his Judgement Seat, no one will be judged more sternly than the man who sits in this chair.
May we always pray for Benedict XVI, the Bishop of Rome: that his ministry may be faithful and full of the grace, truth, and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so that at the end of all things our Lord may say to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant..."
And may you and I, by the grace of Christ, carry well the burdens God has given us to bear, so that we too may hear our Lord speak to us words of joyful greeting on the Day of Judgment.
(adapted from earlier posts)