San Xoán Parish church history

Saint John the apostle and evangelist

John the Apostle is one of the most prominent disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, a native of Galilee, brother of the Apostle James the Greater and son of Zebedee and Mary Salome. Like other apostles, he was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, where his family had a farm focused on fishing, and had a certain social rank. The brothers Santiago and Juan must have had a training superior to the average of Jewish life.

It is thus understood that James, along with John and Peter, is one of the three favorite apostles of Christ, as revealed by his presence at key moments in the New Testament. The Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Church, among others, celebrate it on different holidays.

Many authors have identified him with the disciple whom Jesus loved, who cared for Mary, mother of Jesus.

The eagle is probably Juan’s best known attribute.

Saint John the Evangelist

San Juan escultura

San Xoán parish history

The history of the bell tower of San Xoán is linked to the parish of San Xoán de Afora, which started from the cathedral and opened towards the outskirts. This parish was created in the 11th century and developed its activity in the chapel of San Xoán Apóstol, one of the Romanesque chapels that formed the head of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It had a free-standing bell tower (separate from the church where the worship is held) to be able to indicate the masses without being confused with those of the cathedral, which was where its chapel was located. When the cathedral bells sounded, mass was celebrated at the main altar, and when those of San Xoán sounded, mass was in its chapel.

In the Concordia de Antealtares, a document from 1077 (11th century), it is indicated that the King, Alfonso II el Casto, ordered the construction of a church with three altars, the third being in honor of San Xoán Apóstol. Located to the left of the altar of the Savior, on the north side. This situation is definitively established with the consecration of the main altar and the chapels in 1105 (12th century).

San Xoán chapel

Capela San Xoán
  • Campanario San Xoan
  • Campanario San Xoan
  • Campanario San Xoan
  • Campanario San Xoan

This Romanesque structure was modified to expand the chapel at its head in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In December 1842, the Parish of San Xoán moved to the Monastery of San Martín Pinario, as the cathedral chapel was too small for the worship of its parishioners. In September 1875, San Martin Pinario wanted to expel the parish of San Xoán, but it did not take effect due to the protests of his parishioners. In February 1917 the parish moved the baptismal font and the bells to San Martín Pinario and definitively abandoned the chapel of the Cathedral.

The bells melt and new ones are made, which are the ones in the current church, in the Vista Alegre neighborhood.

Chapel of San Xoán, location in the cathedral

© Copyright - Todos los derechos reservados de imágenes y texto. Campanario de San Xoan. Powered by JLVBCoop