Mössbauer and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies were used to characterize the diheme cytochrome c peroxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans (L.M.D. 52.44). The spectra of the oxidized enzyme show two distinct spectral components characteristic of low spin ferric hemes (S = 1/2), revealing different heme environments for the two heme groups. The Paracoccus peroxidase can be non-physiologically reduced by ascorbate. Mössbauer investigation of the ascorbate-reduced peroxidase shows that only one heme (the high potential heme) is reduced and that the reduced heme is diamagnetic (S = 0). The other heme (the low potential heme) remains oxidized, indicating that the enzyme is in a mixed valence, half-reduced state. The EPR spectrum of the half-reduced peroxidase, however, shows two low spin ferric species with gmax = 2.89 (species I) and gmax = 2.78 (species II). This EPR observation, together with the Mössbauer result, suggests that both species are arising from the low potential heme. More interestingly, the spectroscopic properties of these two species are distinct from that of the low potential heme in the oxidized enzyme, providing evidence for heme-heme interaction induced by the reduction of the high potential heme. Addition of calcium ions to the half-reduced enzyme converts species II to species I. Since calcium has been found to promote peroxidase activity, species I may represent the active form of the peroxidatic heme.