+ John, the son of Zebedee, was the brother of Saint James and is traditionally honored as the “Beloved Disciple.”
+ Born in Galilee, he and his brothers left their fishing nets to follow Jesus, who later called the brothers “Sons of Thunder” because of their ardent faith and impulsivity.
+ John rested his head on Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper, remained with Jesus throughout the Passion and it was to him that Mary was entrusted as Jesus hung upon the Cross.
+ On Easter morning, John was the first apostle to reach the empty tomb and he was present when the Risen Christ appeared to the disciples in the upper room and on the shores of the Sea of Tiberius.
+ According to tradition, John lived a long life and was the only apostle who did not die as a martyr.
+ Saint Jerome recounts that when John was too old to preach, he would have himself carried into the assembly of the faithful and simply say, “My little children, love one another.”
For prayer and reflection
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth,
and the Lord filled him
with the spirit of wisdom and understanding
and clothed him in a robe of glory.
—Entrance Antiphon for the Feast of St. John the Evangelist (cf. Sirach 15:5)
On this day we also remember four priests of the Missionaries of Africa (the “White Fathers”) who were martyred in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria, on December 27, 1994. The martyrs priests are Blesseds Jean Chevillard, Alain Dieulangard, Charles Decker, and Christian Chessel. They were beatified with other martyrs from Algeria in 2018.
O God, who through the blessed Apostle John
have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word,
grant, we pray,
that we may grasp with proper understanding
what he has so marvelously brought to our ears.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.