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St. John at the Latin Gate

Saint John before the Latin Gate


John and his older brother St. James the Greater were fishermen and the sons of Ss. Zebedee and Salome. They are referred to in Scripture as the “sons of thunder”. Tradition considers John the youngest of all the Apostles. He was the only Apostle to die the natural death of a confessor rather than undergoing martyrdom, and thus white vestments are worn on his primary feast day, December 27th; but he nonetheless suffered great persecution and received the merits of martyrdom, like his fellow Apostles, and as Our Lord had foretold in Scripture. Around the year of Our Lord 95, when he was already the only surviving Apostle, John was taken prisoner in Ephesus and brought to Rome under the Emperor Domitian. He was tortured, then condemned to be thrown into a vat of boiling oil, just outside the Latin Gate into Rome. Through a great grace of God, John was permitted to survive, while still being granted the honor of martyrdom. The miracle is commemorated today with the red vestments of the feast of a martyr. John was then exiled to Patmos. He died of old age in Ephesus, sixty-eight years after the Resurrection, the last of the Apostles to enter heaven just as his brother St. James was the first.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 6th

AT Rome, the feast of St. John before the Latin Gate. Being bound and brought to Rome from Ephesus by the order of Domitian, he was condemned by the Senate to be cast, near the said gate, into a vessel of boiling oil, from which he came out more healthy and vigorous than before.

At Antioch, St. Evodius, who, as the blessed Ignatius wrote to the people of Antioch, was consecrated first bishop of that city by the apostle St. Peter, and ended his life by a glorious martyrdom.

At Cyrene, St. Lucius, bishop, who is mentioned by St. Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Heliodorus and Venustus, with seventy-five others.

In Cyprus, St. Theodotus, bishop of Cyrinia, who having undergone grievous afflictions under the emperor Licinius, at length yielded his soul to God, when peace was restored to the Church.

At Damascus, the birthday of the blessed John Damescene, renowned for sanctity and learning, who, by both the written and the spoken word, courageously resisted Leo the Isaurian, in defending the worship paid to sacred images. By order of this emperor his right hand was cut off, but commending himself to an image of the blessed Virgin Mary, which he had defended, his hand was immediately restored to him entire and sound.

At Carrhae, in Mesopotamia, St. Protogenes, bishop.

In England, St. Eadbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, eminent for doctrine and piety.

At Rome, St. Benedicta, virgin.

At Salerno, the Translation of St. Matthew, apostle. His sacred body previously transferred from Ethiopia to various countries, was finally taken to Salerno, and there with great pomp placed in a church dedicated under his invocation.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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