Compassion Magazine

The Basilica of Saints John and Paul - ancient jewel in Rome

From the editor:
An Old Story-teller

The ancient Church of Saints John and Paul, one of Rome's earliest Christian churches, has a treasury of stories to tell. The church was completed as the 5th century dawned, when Rome's glory days were coming to an end. Barbarian warriors invaded the city shortly after it was built, and Rome began its steady decline. Today, the church sits silently amidst the ruins of imperial palaces and temples

For almost sixteen hundred years, it has witnessed Rome's changing fortunes and a faith that endures.

Before the church was built, a Christian community met in a house on the site, and so this holy place brings us back to an early age when Christians were persecuted by the state. Tradition says two soldier martrys -- John and Paul -- are buried here.

After the persecutions ended, prominent Christians of the area led by the Roman Senator, Pammachius, decided to build a church in this "show area" of the city to proclaim a Christianity that could transform Rome's tottering institutions. It was a church founded to evangelize.

Since the 18th century, the Passionists have been in charge of the church and the buildings attached to it. The world-wide religious community has its headquarters here.

Like an old story-teller, the church holds centuries of memories. It is a silent witness to generations of believers who kept their faith in good times and in bad, to martyrs old and new who shed their blood for what they believed. Why not listen to its story?

Fr Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Editor, Compassion Magazine


The Coelian Hill Early Coelian Christians Faith for a New Age
Saints John and Paul, Soldier Martyrs A Shrine Church of Rome A Visual Guide to the Baslica
Passionists at Coelian HillRecent Archeological Investigations Act with Compassion
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Publisher: Terence Kristofak, C.P., Provincial Eastern Province
Editor: Victor Hoagland, C.P. • Co-Editor: Mary Ann Strain, C.P. • Art Director: Sr. Mary Clement
CSAC Circulation: James Fitzgerald • Web 'zine: Bread on the Waters E-Publishing