Emperor Constantine married one of Rome’s wealthiest women, and she brought him an immense dowry. Part of that dowry was one of Rome’s seven hills: the Lateran hill. Towering over Lateran Hill there stood a rectangular structure that was reserved as an audience hall for visiting monarchs. It was called a basilica, following on basilous, the Greek word for a king. The front wall featured a semi-circle alcove where the throne waited for its rightful occupier.
When Constantine became a Christian, he gave the Lateran Basilica to Pope Silvester as his own church, and down to the present it is seen as the pope’s personal church.
st. John Latean is the pope's own People love that reading from Ezekiel in which a stream bursts out from the temple’s east side giving life to trees and fish as it descends to where it turns the ocean into fresh water. We see that that stream as a metaphor for all the grace that people take away with them from church, carrying life out to all with whom they come in contact.