The church dates from the Paleo-Christian era - C4th or 5th - although the current basilica was built on top of the remains of the first building at around 1000 AD.
Between 16th and 18th May, there are celebrations for Santa Restituta, whose body is kept in the sanctuary. According to legend, in 304 AD Restituta,
a citizen of Carthage in Africa, refused to give up her Christian religion and was condemned to be burnt alive on a boat. The boat miraculously reached
the Bay of San Montano Bay, landing on the beach where the Negombo gardens stand today.