SS. John & Bernard Parish
To grow as a Catholic community, united by the Holy Spirit, living our faith in Jesus Christ and sharing God's truth and love with all people
Saint John the Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist (c. 1 - c. 100 AD) is the conventional name for the author of the Gospel of John. Christian tradition says that John the Evangelist was one of Christ's original twelve apostles; the only one to live into old age; and not killed for his faith.
John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother
of James the Greater. It is generally accepted that John was
the younger of the two brothers. In the Gospels the two
brothers are often called after their father "the sons of
Zebedee" and received from Christ the honorable title of
Boanerges, i.e. "sons of thunder." Originally they were
fishermen and fished with their father in the Lake of
Genesareth. According to the usual explanation they became,
however, for a time disciples of John the Baptist, and were
called by Christ from the circle of John's followers, together
with Peter and Andrew, to become His disciples.
In any case John had a prominent position in the Apostolic body. Peter, James, and he were the only witnesses of the raising of Jairus's daughter, of the Transfiguration, and of the Agony in Gethsemani. Only he and Peter were sent into the city to make the preparation for the Last Supper. At the Supper itself his place was next to Christ on whose breast he leaned. According to the general interpretation John was also that "other disciple" who with Peter followed Christ after the arrest into the palace of the high-priest. John alone remained near his 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 his care as the last legacy of Christ. After the Resurrection, John, with Peter, was the first of the disciples to hasten to the grave and he was the first to believe that Christ had truly risen. When later Christ appeared at the Lake of Genesareth John was also the first of the seven disciples present who recognized his Master standing on the shore.
Christian art usually represents St John with an eagle, symbolizing the heights to which he rises in the first chapter of his Gospel. The chalice as symbolic of St John, which, according to some authorities, was not adopted until the 13th century, is sometimes interpreted with reference to the Last Supper, again as connected with the legend according to which St. John was handed a cup of poisoned wine, from which, at his blessing, the poison rose in the shape of a serpent. Perhaps the most natural explanation is to be found in the words of Christ to John and James "My chalice indeed you shall drink." (Matthew 20:23)
The feast day of Saint John in the Roman Catholic Church is on December 27. St John the Evangelist, with St John the Baptist, is considered a patron saint by the fraternal society of Free and Accepted Masons (better known as the Freemasons).