San Giovanni a Porta Latina

Rome, Italy

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Italian: 'Saint John Before the Latin Gate') is a Basilica church near the Aurelian Wall. According to Tertullian, in year 92, St John the Evangelist survived martyrdom at Rome under the Emperor Domitian by being immersed in a vat of boiling oil, from which he emerged unharmed. He was later exiled to island of Patmos. This event was traditionally said to have occurred at the Latin Gate (located on the southern portion of the Roman wall). The nearby chapel of San Giovanni in Oleo is said to be on this very spot. The event was referred to in the Roman Martyrology, which was begun in the seventh century, when already there was a celebration of the event.

The tradition for the building of the Basilica of St. John at the Latin Gate places its construction during the pontificate of Pope Gelasius I (492-496). This is consistent with the oldest of the roof tiles, which have the imprint of a taxation stamp for the Ostrogoth King and ruler of Italy Theodoric the Great (reigned 493-526). One of these ancient roof tiles is now used in the Basilica as a lectern.

In the 8th century, the Basilica was restored by Pope Adrian I, and later the bell-tower and portico were added, and at the end of the 12th century the Basilica was reconsecrated by Pope Celestine III. In the 16th and 17th centuries, a Baroque ceiling and other Baroque features were added to the interior. In the years 1940-1941, the Baroque features were removed and the Basilica was returned to a more primitive simplicity. This last renovation was carried out by the Rosminian Fathers, who, in 1938, were given care of the Basilica and the nearby building, where they opened the Collegio Missionario Antonio Rosmini which houses their International House of Studies.

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Founded: 492 AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

Francesco Scamallo (2 years ago)
San Giovanni a Porta Latina è una delle più antiche chiese basilicali di Roma, eretta vicino a Porta Latina, nei pressi delle Mura aureliane, sulla Via Latina.Vi si trovano splendidi e preziosi affreschi. È un posto dove la pace regna sovrana.Qui mi sono sposato nel lontano 1982 e sono felice di avere scelto questa suggestiva chiesa.
Sergiu Popovici (2 years ago)
O bisericuță mica dar foarte interesantă. In fata bisericii este o fântână veche. In interior se vând cărți poștale cu vederea bisericii.
Onyxsta (3 years ago)
Attended a private dinner inside the residence of the Japanese Ambassador in Rome, Italy. The architecture is stunning! The grounds are to die for, and the fact that it sits beside one of the oldest churches in the city, is no small feat. Also helped that I was knocking back saké mid-viewing.
Vasili Timonen (4 years ago)
The church is open from 7:30 to 12:30 and 15:00 to 18:00. Mass on Sundays and solemnities is at: 8:00. 10:00, 11:30. There is no weekday Mass advertised, but the Rosminian brethren who run the church have a Mass in their convent chapel at 6:45, Monday to Saturday. If you ring at the front door beforehand you are welcome to join them -but not after the Mass has already started! This interesting old church might be late 5th century, but nobody knows for sure because there is no documentary evidence. It has important mediaeval frescoes. The secluded location means that it is usually peaceful.
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