Thursday, December 27, 2012

St. John

Apostle and Evangelist, Guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He became the "beloved disciple" and the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother. His later life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of Pathmos for a year. He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died at Ephesus about the year 100.

St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly inculcated by word and example. The "beloved disciple" died at Ephesus, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque.

John is credited with the authorship of three epistles and one Gospel, although many scholars believe that the final editing of the Gospel was done by others shortly after his death. He is also supposed by many to be the author of the book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, although this identification is less certain.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether St. John wrote all 3 of the writings with his name on them, and personally, I believe that he did. In seventh grade we were taught in our religion books that they were written by a 2nd Century Christian. That still bugs me! John wrote that at the crucifixion "the beloved disciple" obviously him, was given guardianship of Our Lady and wrote of of Our Lord saying "I thirst." There are many more clues, if they would just look at the facts.

Another thing about St. John is that he's always shown wearing red and green. I still don't know why...

At our cottage up north, my cousins and sister and I would play "the New Testament" game and were each a follower of Christ after the ascension. I was St. John. Others included St. Peter, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the sister of Lazarus. My cousin who was probably 5 or 6 then (now she's 11), wanted to be our pet dog named Ester. Yeah, I still laugh at that.

St. John, ora pro nobis.

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