The Basilica de Santi Giovanni e Paolo was commissioned in the year 398 by Senator Pammachius and named in honor of two martyred Roman officers, John and Paul, who were executed under the reign of Julian the Apostate. Located on the Celian Hill section of Rome, the basilica rests atop the ruins of the house in which the officers were killed. Recent excavation revealed the remains of the ancient Roman house beneath the church.
The Basilica de Santi Giovanni e Paolo currently serves as the official home of the Passionists. Two of the church’s previous Cardinal Priests went on to reign as Pope—Pope Honorius III and Pope Pius XII.
The current building was constructed in the 12th century. The interior is adorned with Rome’s best-preserved wall paintings, including Cristoforo Roncalli’s Redeemer in Glory, painted in 1588. The combination of the sanctuary’s steep rounded apse and the 16th century coffered ceilings offer performers a full and pleasantly natural musical sound.
Photos courtesy of Photopedia.