Baptism in the Jordan
A pleasant walk through the narrow streets of the San Faustino neighborhood and its quiet country village atmosphere, takes visitors to San Giovanni in Valle. The Church was built in Lombard times on the site of an ancient Roman and early Christian burial site. After the 1117 earthquake it was completely rebuilt in tufa stone in the characteristic Romanesque style over the most ancient nucleus of the crypt. In the crypt are a pair of 3rd and 4th -century early Christian sarcophagi, representing the relationship between classical art and Christian worship. The one on the left is said to contain the relics of Saints Jude and Simon and has carved reliefs on the side. The other may be Roman and has busts of a man and his wife in the centre as well as figures of Saints Peter and Paul at the corners.
St. John is called “the Baptist” for his ministry of baptism in the Jordan (Mk 1: 5) and in this church, in fact, the sacrament of baptism was administered.