Today is the Feast Day of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. For this lesson we study the life of St. John and traditional customs associated with his feastday.
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Today is the glorious Feast of the Apostle St. John. Of this saint, the Martyrology says:
At Ephesus, the birthday of St. John, apostle and evangelist. After writing his gospel, and after enduring exile and writing the divine Apocalypse, he lived until the time of Emperor Trajan and founded and governed the churches of all Asia. Worn out with age, he died in the sixty-eighth year after the passion of our Lord and was buried near Ephesus.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Our Lord was taken from us and sentenced to death, all his disciples left him — every last one. But it was St. John the Apostle that was the only one to return to the Cross. It was there that He saw the love of the Lord — for Jesus Christ willingly gave up His life for us. St. John was given the gift of Mary, Our Lord's Mother, and Mary was given to us then. That day we were redeemed and Mary became Our Mother as well. It was St. John who was there.
It was also St. John who wrote the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John. Think about how many people have been brought to Christ through it. But realize that God's Word, Holy Scripture, is not the only Truth. For the Gospels are part of the Word of God, but is that enough? No, for we have God — Jesus Christ in His Catholic Church. It is Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, who is the "source and summit of our faith." We are in Communion with the saints, we have Mary, we have the traditions and teachings of Christ in addition to Scripture. St. John also knew this — Jesus Christ is in His Church.
Octave of St. John
Traditionally, before the 1962 changes to the Roman Missal and Calendar, there was an Octave associated with the Feast of St. John. January 3rd was the Octave Day of St. John. Those attached to this older calendar, may still pray the Breviary on January 3rd using the prayers for the Octave Day of St. John
Second Feast of St. John
The Traditional Catholic Calendar (i.e. the Calendar of Saints up until 1961) also had on 6 May a feast of "St John before the Latin Gate," associated with a tradition recounted by Saint Jerome that St John was brought to Rome during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, and was thrown in a vat of boiling oil, from which he was miraculously preserved unharmed. A church, San Giovanni a Porta Latina, dedicated to him was built near the Latin Gate (Porta Latina) of Rome, the traditional scene of this miracle. The feast commemorates the dedication of this church, and is first mentioned... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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