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Lives of Saints

St John the Evangelist (?-100?)

Feast day: 27th December

St John the Evangelist

I was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James. In the Gospels my brother and I are often called after our father "the sons of Zebedee". We received from Christ the honourable title of Boanerges, i.e. "sons of thunder”. Originally we were fishermen and fished with our father in the Lake of Genesareth. We became, however, disciples of John the Baptist, and were called by Christ from the circle of John's followers. My companions and I went back again to our trade of fishing until we were called by Christ to definitive discipleship. I was "the disciple whom Jesus loved".

I was the younger of the two brothers. But I had a prominent position in the Apostolic body. Peter, James, and I were the only witnesses of the raising of Jairus's daughter, the Transfiguration, and the Agony in Gethsemane. Only Peter and I were sent into the city to make the preparation for the Last Supper. At the Supper itself my place was next to Christ on Whose breast I leaned. I was that "other disciple" who with Peter followed Christ after the arrest into the palace of the high-priest. I also, alone, remained near my beloved Master at the foot of the Cross on Calvary with the Mother of Jesus and the pious women, and took the desolate Mother into my care after my Master’s death. After the Resurrection Peter and I were the first of the disciples to hasten to the grave and I was the first to believe that Christ had truly risen. When later Christ appeared at the Lake of Genesareth I was also the first of the seven disciples present who recognized my Master standing on the shore. After Christ's Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, I took, together with Peter, a prominent part in the founding and guidance of the Church. I was with Peter at the healing of the lame man in the Temple.

My mission took me to Samaria and to Asia Minor, and St. Paul names me explicitly one of the "pillars of the Church". Besides the Gospel, I am also responsible for the writing of three Epistles and of the Apocalypse or Revelation. I died about A.D. 100 at Ephesus.

“My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”

1 John 4:7

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