Sunday, October 13, 2013

BASILICA OF Sts. JOHN AND PAUL

BASILICA SS. GIOVANNI E PAOLO
About 398 for the senator Bizante and his son Pammachius senator as well. Pammachius was a leading figure of the Christian community, a friend of St. Jerome and a saint himself for the Catholic Church
The church was built over the TITULUS PAMMACHI. According to a late tradition it was the Titulus of the two officers of Constantine (306/337) John and Paul. They would have been martyred and buried here in 362 during the persecution of Julian the Apostate (361/363)
It was damaged by the sack of the Goths of Alaric in 410, by an earthquake in 442 and by the Normans in 1084
Paschal II (1099/1118) rebuilt the MONASTERY and began the BELL TOWER which was completed in about 1150 for the Cardinal Giovanni dei Conti di Sutri along with the porch, which was maybe executed by Nicola d'Angelo
The foundations of the TEMPLE OF CLAUDIUS were kept as a base for the bell tower
The church was consecrated again in 1157
"Between 1099 and 1118 some monastic buildings were erected near the Church of Sts. John and Paul. The massive ruins of the Claudianum, an old water cistern built with large blocks, were used, creating a formidable defensive stronghold. The complex was further strengthened in the mid-thirteenth century, when the buildings were enlarged and the lower tower built fifty years before was raised to the imposing height it still has today" (Richard Krauutheimer)
Restored about 1199/1216 for Cencio Savelli later Pope Honorius III (1216/27)
In the years 1950/52 Cardinal Francis Spellman Archbishop of New York had the early Christian fa├žade restored
Since 1946 with Cardinal Spellmann the church has always been the seat of the Cardinal Archbishop of New York. Before Spellmann the titular cardinal for 10 years (1929/39) was Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII (1939/58)
The current titular is Edward Michael Cardinal Egan Archibishop of New York
INTERIOR
Restoration 1715/18 Antonio Canevari (1681/1759) and Andrea Garagni for Cardinal Fabrizio Paolucci
Other minor changes were made later
The FLOOR dates back to the thirtheenth century, but it was almost completely rebuilt in the nineteenth century
OCTAGONAL VESTIBULE
At the beginning of the right nave "Busts of Cardinal Paolucci and Pope Innocent XII Pignatelli (1691/1700)" 1725 Pietro Bracci (1700/73)
1st ALTAR ON THE RIGHT
"St. Saturninus destroys the idol" 1716 by Marco Benefial (1684/1764)
CHAPEL OF St. PAUL OF THE CROSS second half of nineteenth with body of St. Paul of the Cross
AT THE CENTER OF THE NAVE
Plaque commemorating the site of the martyrdom of Sts. John and Paul
"Christ in Glory" 1588 by Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626)
MAIN ALTAR
Made out of a porphyry tub with relics of Sts. John and Paul
Above the altar "Martyrdom of St. John" 1726 by Giovanni Domenico Piastrini (1678/1740)
At the sides "Martyrdom of St. Paul" 1726 by Giacomo Triga (1674/1746) and "Conversion of Terenziano" 1726 Pietro Andrea Barbieri (1684/1730)
"Angels" in stucco 1726 by Pietro Bracci
AT THE END OF THE LEFT NAVE
Room with remarkable painting "Christ enthroned between six Apostles" about 1255
"The group of Apostles, inserted between arches, is rendered with such graphic emphasis that it is possible to perceive some trends already visible in the paintings in the chapel of St. Sylvester at the Basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati" (Enrico Parlato)
LEFT NAVE
Paintings by Aureliano Milani (1675/1749) and Tommaso Conca (1734/1822)
SACRISTY
Painting on wood "Madonna and Child with Saints" by Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (1452/1508)

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