Saints John and Paul

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Martyrs. According to legend, these two Christian brothers were prosperous army officers in the court of Constantia, daughter of the Emperor Constantius, around the middle of the fourth century. They took part in a victorious campaign against the Scythians with General Gallicanus.

Their fortunes took a turn for the worse when the Emperor Julian began to persecute Christians. They resigned from the army but were pursued by the Emperor's guards and killed in their own home on the Coelian Hill.

Excavations by archaeologists of an ancient house on the hill, revealed the bodies of two men which many believe were the martyrs. Besides the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, the Basilica di San Zanipolo in Venice ("Zanipolo" being Venetian for "John and Paul") is dedicated to them.Besides the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, the Basilica di San Zanipolo in Venice ("Zanipolo" being Venetian for "John and Paul") is dedicated to them.

In 1222 the Council of Oxford made their feast a day in which the faithful should attend Mass before going to work. They are also especially honoured in Venice.

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