Feast of Saint John the Evangelist
(Celebrated 27 December)

st_john_greco.jpg (160010 bytes)
Saint John the Evangelist - by El Greco - from Museo del Prado, Madrid . . . .
The Dragon in John's Cup symbolizes an attempt to poison him.


John 20:2-8

On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple (the one Jesus loved) and told them, "The Lord has been taken from the tomb! We do not know where they have put Him!"

At that, Peter and the other disciple started out on their way toward the tomb. They were running side by side, but then the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He did not enter but bent down to peer in, and saw the wrappings lying on the ground. Presently, Simon Peter came along behind him and entered the tomb. He observed the wrappings on the ground and saw the piece of cloth which had covered the head not lying with the wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the disciple who had arrived first at the tomb went in. He saw and believed.

Feast of Saint John the Evangelist

johnevan.gif (20450 bytes)Known as the "beloved Apostle," Saint John, along with his brother Saint James were personally called by Jesus to become fishers of men. This had been his avocation before Our Lord touched his life on the shores of Galilee where he had been born, the son of Zebedee and Salome as chapter 4 of Matthew and chapter 1 of Mark relate.

John was the youngest of all the Apostles and dubbed "Sons of Thunder" by Our Lord mainly because of their volatile temperaments which, in John's case, was greatly calmed once he began to follow the Messiah.

It is no secret, as Sacred Scripture attests to, that John was a personal favorite of Jesus. The Apostle was handpicked by Our Lord to accompany Him to the place of the Transfiguration, the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead, and the agony in the garden.

John rewarded his Master by being the only Apostle to follow Jesus to the foot of the Cross. He in turn was rewarded by Our Lord when He entrusted st-john_vision.jpg (78752 bytes)His most prized possession into the beloved Apostle's care - His very Own Blessed Mother Mary as the Apostle relates in his own gospel account, chapter 19:25-27.

John was the first to reach the empty tomb on Easter morning. After Pentecost, John accompanied Peter to Samaria to spread the Word to the people there and was present at the Council of Jerusalem in 49 A.D. After that he traveled to Asia Minor. Some believe Our Lady accompanied him there and lived in Ephesus, where she died and was assumed bodily into Heaven.

Saint Paul affirms in Galatians 2:9 that John, along with Peter and James, were "these pillars" of the Church. Church historian Tertullian holds that John traveled to Rome where he miraculously evaded martyrdom under the vile Roman emperor Domitian, emerging fresh and cool after being submerged in a boiling cauldron of oil.

The Romans subsequently exiled him to the Isle of Patmos where the Apostle received the visions he recorded in the Apocalypse/Revelation - the last book of the Bible.

In 96, upon Domitian's death, John returned to Ephesus where he wrote his gospel along with its three epistles. He has almost always been depicted with an eagle to signify the soaring of his writings, which were indeed so brilliant theologically that some came to call him "John the Divine." John was totally human, however, as we know and he died in Ephesus around 104. Some historians refute this, claiming John returned to Patmos where he died just before the turn of the century. Regardless of accounts, it is fact that John lived a long life and contributed much to furthering the faith.