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St. John the Evangelist

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Saint John

Apostle & Evangelist

John was the younger brother and fellow fisherman of St. James the Greater, both sons of Zebedee and Salome, and referred to in Scripture as the “sons of thunder”. John is considered the youngest of the Apostles, and it was to this beloved disciple, who alone of the Apostles stood at the foot of the Cross, that Our Lord commended the protection of Our Lady, a charge that John carried out faithfully until her Dormition and Assumption. John was the only Apostle to die a confessor rather than a martyr, hence the wearing of white liturgical vestments on this day; but he suffered great persecution, including imprisonment, torment, and exile, and he miraculously survived an attempt to boil him in oil just outside the city of Rome, an event commemorated on May 6th with the red vestments of martyrdom. John was the last of the four Evangelists to write his Gospel, and also wrote three Epistles and the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse. His symbol as an Evangelist is the eagle. Having governed the Eastern churches in addition to his many other exertions, John died of old age in Ephesus, sixty-eight years after the Resurrection.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for December 27th

AT Ephesus, the birthday [into heaven] of St. John, apostle and evangelist, who, after writing his gospel, and after enduring exile and writing the divine Apocalypse, lived till the time of the 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.

At Alexandria, St. Maximus, bishop, who became a renowned and distinguished confessor of the faith.

At Constantinople, the holy confessors Theodore and Theophanes, brothers, who were brought up from their childhood in the monastery of St. Sabbas. Afterwards, combating bravely for the worship of holy images against Leo the Armenian, they were scourged by his command and banished. After his death, they again firmly opposed the emperor Theophilus, who was imbued with the same impiety, and were scourged a second time and driven into exile, where Theodore expired in prison. Theophanes, after peace had at length been restored to the Church, was made bishop of Nicaea and rested in the Lord.

In the same city, St. Niceras, virgin, who was renowned for sanctity, in the time of the emperor Arcadius.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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