St. John the Evangelist: ‘He Who Abides in Love Abides in God’
St. John was the only Apostle at the foot of the Cross, and was given care of the Blessed Mother.
St. John the Evangelist was one of the 12 Apostles. His feast day is Dec. 27. He was a fisherman, along with his brother James, also an Apostle. Our Lord named John and James the “Sons of Thunder,” perhaps because of their fiery temperament, which prompted them, after Samaritan villagers slighted Our Lord, to ask, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” (Luke 9:54)
John’s father was Zebedee, and his mother Salome. They lived on the shores of Galilee. He became the youngest Apostle, perhaps a teenager when called by the Lord, and the only one of the Eleven not to die by martyrdom. He is the “beloved” Apostle due to his closeness to Christ, demonstrated by his leaning back against Jesus’ chest at the Last Supper (John 13:25). He was one of the three favorite Apostles, along with James and Peter, privileged with such interaction with the Lord as witnessing his Transfiguration and Agony. He was the only Apostle at the foot of the Cross, and was given care of the Blessed Mother (John 19:26-27). When Christ appeared on the shore as Peter, John and some of the other disciples were fishing, it was John who first recognized Jesus (John 21:7, “The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’”)
He went to Ephesus, and was banished to the island of Patmos after Roman authorities unsuccessfully attempted to martyr him in boiling oil. He wrote five books of the Bible, including the Gospel of John, three Epistles and Revelation. In his first Epistle, he famously reminds us, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:16-17).