Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 19, St. John the Evangelist

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
By Luann Connolly

Born in Galilee in the year 6, he was the son of Zebedee and Saint Mary Salome and brother of James, (Saint James the greater).  John and James were fishermen when Jesus called them to join him and thus ranked high among the apostles.  Both John and James held prominent positions among the apostles. John was just 18 years old when he became a disciple of Jesus.  Saint John has been credited with writing the fourth gospel and three New Testament epistles. The book of revelation is also attributed to him. John’s Gospel, unlike the other three, presents a well-developed theological point of view.
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.  He is called by God’s own inspiration, “the disciple that Jesus loved.” On Mount Calvary he was asked to care for the Virgin Mary for the rest of her life by a dying Jesus. He became her personal priest and gave her communion every day at Mass.   After her death and assumption into heaven in the year 58 AD, St. John went to Ephesus and preached in Asia Minor with such fruits that he was dragged to Rome, condemned and thrown into a pot of boiling oil, which did him no harm. He was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the apocalypse in the year 95.  He died in Ephesus in the year 100. He was 94 years old and ultimately died of natural causes. All the other apostles suffered martyrdom. He out lived his brother St. James by 50 years.  His feast day is December 27 and appropriately close to Christmas day. He is often depicted with an eagle and is the patron saint of editors, publishers and theologians.  St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly emulated by word and example.

I feel that St. John has given us all a fine example to follow.  He left his family without question and joined Jesus into the unknown and he proved himself to be a great man even though he was the youngest of the all the Apostles.  He writes of love more then any author in the Bible, a subject that endears him to readers.

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