San Giovanni Calibita, Rome

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San Giovanni Calibita is a church located in the rione of Ripa on the Isola Tiberina, next to the hospital of the Fatebenefratelli.

Façade

History[edit]

A church here is documented since the 14th century with the name of Sancti Ioannis de insula, and also Sancti Ioannis Cantofiume. But it is likely a church was established over the site of the temple of Iuppiter Iurarius. Armellini says the first church here was raised by the soldriers of Genseric and rebuilt in 464 by Peter, bishop of Porto, who held the jurisdiction of the Isola Tiberina. However the oldest documentary evidence is found in a bull by Pope Benedict VIII in 1018. For centuries it was attached to the nearby Benedictine monastery. The present church was begun in 1584, on the ruins of the older church. During this latter construction, the remains of St Giovanni Calibita, were putatively found under the main altar. The church was reconstructed in 1640, façade completed in 1711, and the rich interior decoration completed Corrado Giaquinto by 1742.

The church contains an icon of the Madonna della lampada from the 13th century. This image traditionally was associated with a miracle: it was once at the river’s edge with a votive lamp, however during the flood of 1557, while submerged, the fire in the lamp was not extinguished.

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