CHURCH OF ST. JOHN LATERAN  San Giovanni in Laterano (Ch. 33)
An other tyme, as this creatur was at Seynt Jonys Cherch Lateranens befor the awter heryng the messe hir thowt that the preste whech seyd messe semyd a good man and devowte. Sche was sor mevyd in spiryt to speke wyth hym. Than sche preyd hir man wyth the brokyn bak for to gon to the preste and preyn hym to spekyn wyth hir. Than the preste undirstod non Englysch ne wist not what sche seyd, and sche cowde  non other langage than Englisch, and therfor thei spokyn be an interpretowr (lines 1904-9)
At first Margery and the priest, a German, speak through an interpreter. Then she asks him to pray that he could understand her. he does so, and when she returns to the Church thirteen days later, he is able to understand her English. (And aftyr therten days the preste cam ageyn to hir to prevyn the effect of her preyerys, and than he undirstod what sche seyd in Englysch to hym and sche undirstod what that he seyd.) She makes a full confession to him, and he remains her confessor and supporter for some time. She apparently makes many visits to the Lateran Church, receiving communion on Sundays, for later in the chapter she states:
And than this good man, seyng this woman so wondirfully sobbyn and cryin, and specialy on Sondays whan sche schuld ben howselde among alle the pepyl, purposyd hym to prevyn whethyr it wer the gyfte of God, as sche seyd, er ellys hir owyn feynyng by ypocrisy, as the pepyl seyd. . .(lines 1946-9)
This church is one of the oldest in Rome, established by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. It is here, at the Lateran Baptistery that Constantine is allegedly baptized by Pope Sylvester. Until the relocation of the Popes to Avignon in the 14th century, the Lateran was the cathedral of Rome, and thus the home of the Pope. The Popes resided at the adjoining Lateran Palace until 1309.  Even when the residence of the pope moved to the Vatican upon his return from Avignon in 1377, St. John Lateran remained his official seat. The Egyptian obelisk in the piazza is one of the oldest in Rome (dates to 15th century bc). The church was greatly damaged in the 14th century, and renovations continued throughout the 15th. Finally the exterior of the church was altered by Domenico Fontana in the 1580s (under Sixtus V), the interior by Francesco Borromini in the 1640s, and the main facade, as we see it today, added by Alessandro Galilei in the 1730s. 

Medieval pilgrimage guides reserve their most extensive descriptions for the Lateran.  The 1370s English Stacions of Rome devoted 133 verses to the description of St. John Lateran in contrast to 59 for Sta Maria Maggiore.  The text praises the church: To seint Ion lateran, moste we/ A while there for to be/ to tell of pardouns that is thoreFor in al Rome ne is no more, then ther is graunted of Ihesu crist. (F.J. Furnivall (ed), The Stacions of Rome, the Pilgrims Sea-Voyage and Sea-Sickness, EETS, o.s. 61, 73, London, 1867, 8). A century later William Brewyn (A Fifteenth Century Guidebook to the Principal Churches of Rome, trans. C. Eveleigh Woodruff, London: Marshall Press Limited, 1933, 22-33) lavishly enumerates the graces to be obtained at St. John Lateran.  It had a special indulgence attached to its altar, so that every day 

there are 48 years of indulgences, 48 quarantines [quadragenae - a 40 day fast] and a remission of the third part of all sins. . . . Also St. Gregory, the pope, who consecrated the church after its destruction by heretics confirmed the indulgence. . . . Also Pope Boniface VIII declared "the indulgences of the Lateran church can be counted only by God," and "all these indulgences I confirm." . . . Also if people only knew how great are the indulgences of the Lateran church, they would not think it necessary to go across the sea to the Holy Sepulcher (Brewyn, 23-25) 
Brewyn also notes the "chapels at the Font of Constantine" the Baptistery where he states St. Sylvester baptized Constantine and Christ then appeared to the said Constantine. "there are many relics and many indulgences, and especially in the chapel of St. John the Baptist, into which women do not enter, where there is remission of all sins" (Brewyn, 26-27)  
ROSGL1: Lateran Palace

ROSGL1a: Lateran Baptistry and transept of Church of San Giovanni in Laterano

ROSGL2: Lateran Baptistry

ROSGL2a: Portico of the Lateran Baptistry

ROSGL3: View from cloister of Church of San Giovanni in Laterano to exterior left transept facade, this section of building still retains its late medieval appearance

ROSGL4: Lateran obelisk

ROSGL5: Bronze Equestrian statue of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Today it is located on the Campidoglio, but was at the Lateran until the early 16th century.

ROSGL6: Interior of Church, the reconstructed apse with 13th century mosaics by Jacopo Torriti and Jacopo da Camerino.

ROSGL7: Interior of Church, ciborium constructed in 1367 by Giovanni di Stefano under Pope Urban V, with head reliquaries of Peter and Paul. below ciborium is Papal Altar. It preserves inside the original wooden altar where (according to legend) Popes from St. Peter to St. Sylvester said mass.

ROSGL8: Interior of Church, cosmati marble floor in nave, dates to 14th century.

ROSGL9: Interior of Church, cosmati marble floor in nave, dates to 14th century.

ROSGL10: Tomb slab (13th or 14th century), originally placed inside Church, today located in cloister.

ROSGL11: Sculptures from tomb of Cardinal Riccardo degli Annibaldi, by Arnolfo di Cambio (c.1275-80), also originally from Church interior and today located in cloister.

ROSGL11a: Detail of procession from tomb of Cardinal Riccardo degli Annibaldi, by Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1275-80)

ROSGL11b: Detail of effigy of Cardinal Riccardo degli Annibaldi, by Arnolfo di Cambio (c. 1275-80)

ROSGL12: Throne of the Bishop of Rome, today in the Lateran Museum

ROSGL13 & ROSGL14: Cloister of San Giovanni in Laterano, built 1215-32 by Pietro Vassalletto and son under Popes Honorius III and Innocento II. As a woman, Margery Kempe would not have been allowed in the cloister, but it is an example of last medieval architecture that she would have been able to see in Rome in this period. 

Catholic Encyclopedia St. John Lateran

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