A Papal bull, issued by the Pope John XXII in the 13th of January 1317, informs us that the “St. John of Jerusalem Hospital”, also known as the Monastery consacrated to St. Stephen from Monopoli, included churches (such as the little church consacrated to St. John placed in the homonymous square; we do not know a lot about it apart from the fact that it had been restored in 1707), chapels, houses and territories as a reward for the support shown during the battles against Turks and, most of all, for the spiritual support.
A book known as “Ruolo generale de' Cavalieri Gerosolimitani della Veneranda lingua di Italia” (“Main role of the Knights of Jerusalem of the venerable Italian language”), written by the Knight Commander Fra Bartolomeo del Pozzo, tells us that the St. John Commandation is really old, but we can't really say when it was built or who was the founder.
In 1790 a two-storey house was built which still exists. It was used as an hospital when Fra'Erberto Mirelli, a prince from Teora (near Avellino, Campania), held the office of Knight Commander (as we can deduce from the memorial stone above the main door: "FR ERBERTVS MIRELLI … / EX PRINCIBVUS THEORAE / EQVES HIEROSOL / OM NOLAE ET S IOH DE MONOPO / COMMENDATOR / …RIOR BAIVLIV SSME TRINITATIS VENVS / …DEM HANS VETVSTATE COLLAPSA… / A FVNDAMENTIS ERIGI / ATQVE ORNARI CVRAVIT")1.
St. John Square
A frontal view
The memorial stone
A Maltese cross
St. John Church
- Photos by Francesca Briganti moc.liamg|2itnagirb.acsecnarf#| (January 2011)
- Locate the item on this Google Map