Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 20 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Virtually visit the Basilica of San Giovanni a Porta Latina, of the “failed martyrdom”

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Marinella Bandini - published on 03/27/21

Station Church Day 38: Did you know the only Apostle who wasn't martyred suffered an attempted martyrdom?

Aleteia invites you to a virtual Lenten pilgrimage through Rome’s 42 station churches: one church per day, from February 17 to April 11.

Day 38

The Basilica of San Giovanni a Porta Latina stands on the site of the “failed martyrdom” of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. Tertullian, at the end of the 2nd century, recounts that St. John was immersed in a vat of boiling oil from which he emerged unharmed. He was then deported to the Greek island of Patmos, where he later died. The miracle is commemorated in the chapel of San Giovanni in Oleo (“St. John in Oil”) a few dozen yards from the basilica. The appellation “Porta Latina” is due to its proximity to this ancient gate of the Aurelian Walls.

The basilica dates back to the 5th century. One of the tiles of the old roof is now on top of the ambo and is used as a lectern. The church has undergone various restorations and renovations and was reconsecrated by Celestine III in 1191.

Today we see it as it appeared in medieval times, thanks to the restoration ordered by the Rosminian Fathers in 1940. On that occasion, a cycle of medieval frescoes of considerable importance was discovered. Approximately 50 representations of scenes from the Bible decorate the walls of the central nave.

My dwelling place shall be with them;and I will be their God,and they shall be my people.Ez. 37:27

* In collaboration with the Office for Social Communications of the Vicariate of Rome.


Read more:
Why is December 27 the feast of St. John the Evangelist?

Read about the tradition of the station churches here. And see previous churches in the pilgrimage here.

Station Churches

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.