This Archbasilica is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome. According to ancient tradition, it is called ‘the Mother of all the Churches of Rome and of the world’: ‘Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput’, runs the inscription on the walls.  The Pope’s episcopal chair is here, not in S Peter’s.  So, on this day we celebrate the universality and catholicity of the Church, Mother of us all.

As we give thanks for her, let us pray that she be kept safe from all that seeks to destroy her, and may God bless you this day.