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Saint John the Evangelist

st. john the evangelistFeast Day:  December 27
Patron Saint of:  authors, burns, poisoning, theologians, publishers, booksellers, editors, friendships, and painters

St. John the Evangelist, also called St. John the Apostle and St. John the Divine, was a Galilean, the son of Zebedee and Salome, and younger brother of St. James the Great. The brothers were brought up to the trade of fishing. He was properly called to be a disciple of our Lord, with his brother James, as they were mending their nets, soon after Jesus had called Peter and Andrew. These two brothers continued as fishermen, but upon seeing the miraculous draught of fishes, they left all things to attach themselves more closely to Jesus. Christ gave them the surname Boanerges, or sons of thunder, to express the strength and activity of their faith in publishing the law of God without fearing the power of man. This was particularly applied to St. John who was truly a voice of thunder in proclaiming aloud the most sublime mysteries of the divinity of Christ. He is said to have been the youngest of all the apostles, probably about twenty-five, when he was called by Christ; for he lived seventy years after the suffering of Jesus.

Jesus had a particular affection for St. John above the other apostles as evidenced by St. John himself as “The disciple whom Jesus loved”; not out of pride, but out of gratitude and love for Jesus. It is believed that this affection comes from three factors – John’s love for Jesus; his meekness and peaceable disposition that was Christ like; and his virginal purity. St. Jerome stated that John’s privileges and graces recompense of his chastity, especially that which our Lord did him by recommending in his last moments his virgin mother to the care of this virgin disciple.

St. John the Evangelist died in Ephesus, Asia Minor around 101 A.D.

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