Saint John the Evangelist

John the apostle, the beloved, the evangelist

A member of the “inner circle” John was present at most of the events in Christ’s life. He was there at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration on the Mount and the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. At the Last Supper John leaned on Jesus’ breast and asked him who betrayed him. John cared for Mary, the mother of Jesus at the Crucifixion, was the first to believe at the Resurrection and the first to recognize the Lord as he walked on the Sea of Galilee.

In his early years Saint John the Evangelist was employed as a fisherman along with his brother James by their father Zebedee, a Galilean. His mother was Salome and it has een inferred that she was the sister of Mary, mother of Jesus. The family ¬†was considered prosperous since John’s father employed servants. One day when John and James were mending their nets they were two of the earliest to be called to be Apostles. Because of their fiery, impetuous nature, Christ gave them the nickname Boanerges, “Son of Thunder. ”

The Lord showed John kindness and affection above the rest elevating him to a privileged position. John was truly “the disciple whom Jesus loved. ” A generous person, John often accompanied Peter in healing and in confirming. His own successful preaching led to his arrest but Jesus’ favorite was released when new rulers came to power.

The youngest of the apostles, John assisted at the council which the apostle held in Jerusalem. After the martyrdom of Saints, Peter and Paul, he settled in Ephesus. His favorite words were “my little children, love one another,” and he believed if you did so, you did enough. John’s sign, the eagle, indicates great inspiration and thought. He was the author of the Forth Gospel, The Apocalypse, three Epistles and a book of revelations. The New Testament is primarily a “spiritual” biography and quite different from the others. His object in writing it he tells us himself. “Then things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the believing, you may have life in His name. ”

John lived to an old age having outlived all the other apostles. He died at the age of 94 at Ephesus in the reign of Emperor Trajan and was the only apostle not to suffer martyrdom.