His success in converting thousands into Christianity and his fame shadowing the goddess Artemis of Ephesus worried the god emperor Domitian of the Roman Empire. Saint John was first captured to be taken to Rome, and then he was exiled to Samos Island of the Aegean Sea. He spent most of his remaining life on Samos. He came back to Ephesus after emperor Domitian died and was declared as ”damnatio memoriae”. Saint John the Evangelist passed away in Ephesus.
Death of Saint John the Evangelist
Saint John was already an old man when he returned to Ephesus. As we know he went on working on the bible and wrote 3 more epistles. Saint John the Evangelist passed away in Ephesus. We estimate the date of Saint John’s demise to be sometime between 100 AD and 110 AD. The cause of his death is generally accepted to be natural causes.
Evidence Confirming Saint John Passed Away in Ephesus
Saint Irenaeus who later became the bishop of Lyon was born in Asia Minor around the same time with Saint John the Evangelist’s death. Saint Irenaeus was trained by Saint Polycarp who was the bishop of Smyrna. The most important thing about Saint Polycarp is he was a pupil and disciple of Saint John the Evangelist himself. Saint Irenaeus claimed that Saint Polycarp himself said to him that Saint John the Evangelist passed away in Ephesus.
Basilica of Saint John Nearby Ephesus Today
The Basilica of Saint John nearby Ephesus holds the monumental tomb of Saint John the Evangelist. The Basilica stands on the Ayasuluk Hill where once the oldest habitants of Ephesus city used to live. Current ruins of the basilica dates the era of Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire who ruled in between 527 -565. As we know a small wooden church was built following John’s passing and a bigger basilica was built when Christianity became a free religion on the fourth century.
The current building was built in the sixth century thanks to a mass church building program started by the Emperor Justinian. Hagia Sophia of Constantinople was another church built in the same time with the Basilica of Saint John. There are significant resemblances in between the two buildings.
Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist has a cross plan. Today a perfectly preserved baptism pool, altar and tomb of Saint John can be visited. Frescoes of Saint John, Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary can be found on the north side of the altar. Massive original walls of the basilica are preserved even today and leave visitors with an awe.
Myths and Stories About the Basilica of Saint John Nearby Ephesus
- Many Christian theologians agree today that Saint John is the one and only disciple who passed away because of the natural reasons. Even though it is known that he passed away due to old age, it is still believed that Saint John had assumption into heaven by Christ. This theory is supported by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine because he claimed the remains were missing when he opened the tomb.
- Another story was told by Ramon Muntaner who was a Spanish mercenary working for the Byzantine Empire and who visited the tomb of Saint John personally. Ramon Muntaner claimed he could still hear the breathing of Saint John under the ground, and he witnessed dust particles coming out of the tomb. When people with sicknesses inhaled these holy dust particles, they were back to being healthy.
Popes Been to the Basilica of Saint John
Saint John’s Basilica today is accepted as an official holy sight by the church. The Basilica of Saint John was visited by several holy figures including Pope John Paul the VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1995 and John Bendictus in 2007.
Visiting the Basilica of Saint John
The Basilica of Saint John is about two kilometers (1.3 Miles) away from Ephesus and about 30 minutes drive from Kusadasi port city. You can drive about one hour from Izmir city or from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport to visit Saint John’s Basilica.
The Basilica of John is open every day of the week. John’s Basilica is open in between 08:30 and 19:00 in Summer period and in between 08:30 and 17:30 in Winter period. Entrance fee is 100 Turkish Lira and tickets can be bought at the entrance.
Hire a Tour Guide to Visit Basilica of Saint John nearby Ephesus
The Basilica of Saint John nearby Ephesus is fascinating piece of our past and I feel proud to be a member of the community living nearby it. I like to take my family and friend to Saint John’s Basilica during our free time since the building at its surroundings are peaceful. I would be happy to take you to Saint John’s Basilica too. Contact me to learn more about Saint John the Evangelist and about time acts of Saint John the Evangelist in Ephesus.
Write to me to hire a professional licensed Biblical tour guide in Ephesus to see the Basilica of Saint John. My recommended starting points for this tour are Kusadasi cruise port, Kusadasi hotels, Selcuk hotels, Izmir hotels and Izmir Adnan Menderes airport but also a tour to Basilica of Saint John can start from you required location too. Please don’t skip nearby Ephesus Ancient City, Isa Bey Mosque and the House of Virgin Mary when you visit the Basilica of John. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.