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The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican | photo by Fczarnowski. Statue of Saint Paul in front of the facade of the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Wall, Rome | photo by Berthold Werner (Franciscan Media)

A reading of the holy Gospel according to LK 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.


My house shall be a house of prayer

Today we celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of two of the four major basilicas in Rome: St Peter at the Vatican and St Paul in the Via Ostiense by Pope St Silvester and Pope Siricius in the fourth century.

St Peter's Basilica was built in 323 by Emperor Constantine. It is constructed over the tomb of Peter the Apostle, the Church's first Pope. Pope Julius II ordered the original building torn down due to structural problems. It took 200 years for the completion of the new Church. It was dedicated in November 18, 1626. (1)

St Paul's Basilica is outside of the original walls of Rome. It was also built by Emperor Constantine. It is built over the grave of St Paul. Before the completion of Saint Peter's Basilica, St Paul's was the largest church in Rome. It was destroyed by fire in 1823 and then rebuilt. Pope Pius IX consecrated the Basilica in 1854. (1)

The buildings can be seen as just that--landmark majestic buildings for tourists to visit. However, they are consecrated and dedicated to the Lord. They honor two great saints who worked hard for the Catholic Church. St Peter personally knew Jesus. St Paul was intimate with the Lord. Best examples of conversion and forgiveness.

We are reminded of the majesty of God and the need to pray (converse) with God. All for His Glory.


PAPA Foundation
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