In 1993, John Paul II entrusted the Basilica to the Community of Sant’Egidio. Since that date, the Basilica has rediscovered its ecumenical vocation, renewing the bonds that united it to the Churches of the East, where devotion to the Apostle Bartholomew is very much alive. The Basilica welcomed the official visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, that of the Orthodox Patriarch of Romania Teoctist, which was followed by other visits of Orthodox representatives, including many Primates, and Evangelicals, who participated in the prayer of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Due to the location of the Basilica near the main synagogue in Rome, there were also moments of dialogue and meeting between the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Jewish Community, starting with the annual commemoration of 16 October 1943, the day of the deportation of the Roman Jews. The Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola also played a role in hospitality during the German occupation of Rome: about 400 Jews, hiding to avoid deportation to extermination camps, found shelter there.

The Community of Sant’Egidio celebrates the Sunday Eucharistic liturgy at St Bartholomew’s and, since 1993, an evening prayer animated by some groups of young people from the Community. San Bartolomeo all’Isola Tiberina is thus one of the few churches in Rome to be open every evening for prayer.

Since 2002, at the behest of John Paul II, the Basilica of St Bartholomew on the Island has become a memorial place for 20th century witnesses of faith, entrusted to the care of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

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