Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate. San-Giovanni-A-Porta-Latina. Feast Day 6 May.

Text is taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.

Saint-John-Before-The-Latin Gate.
   Feast Day 6 May.


Red Vestments.

English: Basilica of Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate
Italiano: San Giovanni a Porta Latina.
Français: Facade de l'Église San Giovanni a Porta Latina.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Jesus had promised James and John, sons of Zebedee, that they should drink The Chalice of His Passion, so as to participate in the triumph of His Resurrection (Gospel).

The Emperor Domitian caused John to be brought to Rome and condemned him to be plunged into a cauldron of boiling oil.

But Saint John, by a striking Miracle, came forth from this torment more healthy and vigorous than before. A Sanctuary was built on this spot near The Latin Gate and Dedicated to The Holy Apostle.

There is held The Station on Passion Sunday.

Mass: Protexísti.

English: The Nave of the Basilica of Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate, Rome.
Français: Nef de l'église San Giovanni a Porta Latina à Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Italian: "Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate") is a Basilica Church in Rome, Italy, near the Porta Latina (on the Via Latina) of the Aurelian Wall. It is currently the Titular Church of Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, former Archbishop of Kraków.

According to Tertullian, as quoted by Saint Jerome, in the year 92 A.D., Saint 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 the 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 7th-Century A.D., when already there was a Celebration of the event. A Feast Day in The Roman Calendar also Celebrated the event until 1960, when Pope Saint John XXIII removed most Second Feasts of a single Saint.

English: Frescoes in the Apse of the Basilica of 
Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate, Rome.
Français: Fresques de l'abside de l'église San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: November 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Tradition for the building of the Basilica of Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate places its construction during the Pontificate of Pope Gelasius I (492 A.D. - 496 A.D.). 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 A.D. -526 A.D.). One of these ancient roof tiles is now used in the Basilica as a Lectern.

In the 8th-Century A.D., 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 re-Consecrated by Pope Celestine III. In the 16th- and 17th-Centuries, a Baroque Ceiling and other Baroque features were added to the Interior.

In 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.

Columns in the Nave of Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate, Rome.
Photo: May 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The main entrance to the Basilica is fronted by a small Square, with a 100-year-old Cedar Tree and an 8th-Century Well-Head, nearly reproducing the aspect of the Basilica that would have been seen at the re-Consecration by Pope Celestine III in the 12th-Century.

The Portico (or Porch) of the Basilica is supported by four re-used Classical Columns (each of a different marble) supporting five Arches. The Main Door is framed with a simple mosaic of Red and Green Porphyry.

The Well-Head, from the time of Pope Adrian I, has a double row circular design around its barrel, and a Latin inscription completely around its crown: IN NOMINE PAT[RIS] ET FILII ET SPI[RITUS SANT]I - "In the name of The Father, of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost" - and a quote from the Prophet Isaiah: OMN[E]S SITIE[NTES VENITE AD AQUAS] - "All you who are thirsty come to the water", and the name of the stone-carver - EGO STEFANUS - "I am Stephen".

English: One of the oldest of the roof tiles from 
Saint-John-Before-The-Latin-Gate, Rome,
which has the imprint of a taxation stamp for the Ostrogoth King and Ruler of Italy, Theodoric the Great (Reigned 493 A.D. -526 A.D.). This ancient roof tile is now used in the Basilica as a Lectern.
Français: Lutrin de l'Église San Giovanni a Porta Latina de Rome.
Photo: July 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: LPLT.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Interior of the Basilica is divided into three Naves, divided by two rows of Columns, on which rest semi-circular Arches. The two Columns closest to the Sanctuary are of White Marble with deep fluting. The other Columns are of various types of Marble and Granite, capped with a diverse collection of Ionic Capitals. The Central Nave terminates with a half-hexagon Apse. Each of the three sides of the Apse opens with a large window filled with Honey-Coloured Onyx.

Occupying the ledge of the Central Window is a carved wooden Crucifixion Scene, including Saint John the Evangelist and The Blessed Virgin Mary. In front of the Altar, is a mosaic Pavement in Cosmatesque-style. The geometric pattern of Red and Green Porphyry, framed in White Marble (as well as re-used fragments of White Marble with Latin lettering), is thought to have been created before the 12th-Century. Inserted in the front step of the Altar, is the Titulus of the Basilica, of ancient origin, discovered during the renovations of 1940: "TIT. S. IOANNIS ANTE PORTAM LA[TINAM]" - "Saint John before the Latin Gate".

In 1913-1915, recently-discovered frescoes were restored above the High Altar. After this work, another search along the face of the Central Nave revealed the presence of a full circle of Mediaeval frescoes. The restoration of these frescoes was completed with the full restoration of the Basilica in 1940-1941. The Central Nave is decorated with about fifty scenes representing The Old and New Testaments, from The Creation of the World to the glorious Apocalypse of The New Jerusalem. The frescoes were executed by several artists under the direction of one Master.

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