The Church was built in 398, by Senator Pammachius, over the home of two Roman soldiers, John and Paul, martyred 362 by emperor Julian. The church was sacked in 410. It suffered from an earthquake in 442. It was restored by Pope Paschal I in 824, sacked again in 1084 by the Normans, and again restored, adding a monastery and bell tower.
It is currently the mother house of the Passionists and is the burial place of Saint Paul of the Cross.
The inside has three naves, with pillars joined to the original columns. The altar is built over a bath, which holds the remains of the two martyrs. The apse is frescoed with Christ in Glory (1588) by Cristoforo Roncalli (one of the painters called il Pomarancio); while below this fresco are three paintings: a Martyrdom of St John, a Martyrdom of St Paul, and the Conversion of Terenziano (1726) by Giovanni Domenico Piastrini, Giacomo Triga, and Pietro Andrea Barbieri respectively.
The sacristy features a canvas by Antoniazzo Romano of the Madonna and Child with Saints John the Evangelist and John the Baptist, and Saints Jerome and Paul.
Prayer over the People
Let us pray.
Bow your heads to God.
Watch over Your people, O Lord, and mercifully cleanse them from all their sins; for no harm can come to them if no evil has power over them.Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Last year’s meditation can be found here for the Friday after Ash Wednesday.
AND for your spiritual reading for Lent and beyond, find my newest publication of 31 days of meditations on the Passion of Christ at my Lulu store. It teaches us how daily meditation on the Passion, not just in Lent, but throughout the whole year, is beneficial to our spiritual growth and union with Christ, Love Crucified.