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Monday, 18 December 2017
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St John, the Evangelist

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John was the brother of James, a son of Zebedee, and the faithful disciple who stood with Mary at the foot of the cross.

He was one of the privileged few present at the Transfiguration and the Agony in the garden. At the Last Supper, his head rested on the bosom of Jesus, and in the hours of the Passion, when others fled or denied their Master, St. John kept his place by the side of Jesus, and at the last stood by the Cross with Mary. From the Cross the dying Saviour bequeathed His mother to the care of this faithful apostle.

After the Ascension, St. John lived first at Jerusalem, and then at Ephesus. He was thrown by Domitian into a cauldron of boiling oil, and is thus reckoned a martyr, though miraculously preserved from hurt. Afterwards he was banished to the Greek island of Patmos, off the coast of modern day Turkey, where he received the heavenly visions described in the book of Apocalypse (or Revelation). He died at a great age at Ephesus.

John was author of the 4th Gospel, the Book of Revelation and three letters of the New Testament. The letters preach especially the law of love. St. John's symbol is the Eagle, because it is considered that his Gospel soars the highest towards God.