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November 9

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Rome)
Mother Church


Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Rome)

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.

In the 14th century when the papacy returned to Rome from Avignon, the church and the adjoining palace were found to be 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 Saint Peter himself celebrated Mass.




Rome, Italy 
Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, 4.




Scala Sancta
Holy Stairs

The Holy Stairs are the steps leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during his Passion. The Stairs reputedly were brought to Rome by St. Helena in the fourth century. For centuries, the Scala Sancta has attracted Christian pilgrims who wish to honor the Passion of Jesus Christ.





Roman-style Oxtail Stew


  • 1 pound oxtail, cut into sections

  • 1 pound short ribs no bones

  • 1/2 AP Flour for dusting meat

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, for frying (more if needed)

  • 6 oz medium onion, peeled and sliced

  • 3 oz celery diced

  • 3 oz carrots diced

  • 8-16 oz red wine

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 20 oz beef stock

  • 24 oz canned plum tomatoes, chopped

  • Salt and black pepper TT

  • 1 TBSP Dark cocoa powder, to taste 

  • 4 oz sultanas currents

  • 4 oz pine nuts


  1. Wash the oxtail in cold water, drain and pat the pieces dry.

  2. Dust meat with flour and set aside.

  3. In a large, heavy-based or enamel pot, that can later contain all the ingredients, fry  the meat and brown on all sides. Once the meat is brown, transfer on to a plate. (Browning the meat into two portions.)  Brown the remaining meat.

  4. Return all the meat to the pan, raise the heat and add the vegetables. Add wine and deglaze the pot, let the wine partially evaporate. Add the tomato, stock, spices. Turn the meat, making sure it is covered with sauce. Bring the pot to a steady simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Half cover the pot and cook for 3 hours. Every now and then, turn the meat and add a little more water if the sauce is looking too thick.

  5. Add the sultanas and pine nuts to the pan and stir. Cook for 2 more hours. By then the meat should be incredibly tender and falling from the bone; the sauce, rich and dark. If you don’t have time to let the stew rest overnight, spoon away some of the fat that is resting on the surface. 

    The easiest way to remove the extra fat is to chill the stew. Once cold the fat will solidify on the surface making it easy to pick up and remove. Once the fat has been removed warm and serve.

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