— Dominica in Palmis — Statio ad S. Joannem in Laterano —
Yesterday I prayed the Scala Sancta for all of you who support and read PassioXP and all of its ancillary channels.
The Lateran Palace fell into the hands of the Emperor when Constantine I married his second wife Fausta, sister of Maxentius. Known by that time as the “Domus Faustae” or “House of Fausta,” the Lateran Palace was eventually given to the Bishop of Rome by Constantine I. The actual date of the donation is unknown, but scholars speculate that it was during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades, in time to host a synod of bishops in 313 that was convened to challenge the Donatist schism, declaring Donatism (claiming that the traditores — those who handed over the holy things in times of persecution to save themselves — were no longer able to confect valid sacraments, that the validity and holiness of the sacraments depended on the holiness of the minister of that sacrament) to be heresy. The palace basilica was converted and extended, becoming the residence of Pope Saint Sylvester I (of whom we have heard a lot about in our journey with the Station Churches), eventually becoming the Cathedral of Rome, the seat of the Popes as the Bishops of Rome.
The Holy Stairs were placed on this imperial property. They are presently under the care of the Passionist Fathers.