After Paul’s execution,John took over the leadership of the church at Ephesus,and wrote his gospel and letters.After his death,he was buried,according to his wishes,in the spot that now forms the center of the Church of Saint John.

The Church of Saint John is located South of the Selcuk fortress on Ayasuluk.In the Byzantine period,it was the most impressive house of workship in Ephesus and was known everywhere.

The church historian Eusebios remarks that the disciple John was expelled from Jerusalem and spread Christianity in Anatolia between 37 and 42 CE.The young evangelist supposedly took the Virgin Mary under his care and came to Ephesus with her.

A mere grave monument first marked the tomb.The first bailica,which had a wooden roof,was built only in the fourth or fifth century,when Christianity had prevailed.The present ruins are those of the emperor Justinian(527-565).Ancient sources tell us that Church of Saint John in Ephesus was one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Christianity.This was also true in medieval times.The same source tells us that the grave chamber itself gave forth a dust that had healing powers.



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