December 27, 2006

Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist


Today is the Feast of St. John. The Beloved Disciple. The author of my favorite Gospel. The caretaker of the Blessed Virgin after the death of her Son. One of the first disciples to see the empty tomb on Easter Sunday. The one who rested his head upon Jesus' breast at the Last Supper.

Some early sources report that St. John was banished to the island of Patmos for a time and there he wrote down the revelations he received into The Apocalypse or Revelation (the last book of the Bible)

St. Jerome writes that in his old age, St. John would often repeat to those he met: "My little children, love one another." When asked why he kept saying those words St. John said: "Because it is the Lord's teaching, and if you keep it you do enough."

However, lest you think that St. John was only about love, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, says it far better then I could:

"No voice in the New Testament rises with greater force to highlight the reality and the duty of fraternal love between Christians. Yet the same voice addresses itself with drastic severity to the adversaries who were members of the community but are so no longer"

He died at Ephesus around the age of 94 near 100 A.D. He did not get the martyrs death he wanted. Surely, God had a plan for him that involved St. John being with us for as long as possible in order to care for the Blessed Virgin and to have the time to commit his divinely inspired writings to parchment.

St. John's symbol is the Eagle.

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