Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
John was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and
of James the Greater (with whom he was called a "Sons of Thunder").
He lived in the same town of Bethsaida and he practiced his
trade as a fisherman near the Sea
of Galilee. He was
probably a disciple of John the Baptist. Jesus called him the
"Beloved Disciple". He was with Peter and James the Greater and
witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter to life, the transfiguration,
and the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. John was perhaps the
youngest of the Apostles and remained with Jesus' mother, Mary, at the
foot of the cross when nearly all of the other Apostles abandoned Him.
John's mother, Salome, was also a follower of Jesus and remained
faithful to Him especially on Calvary along with many other women.
The beloved apostle was favored by Jesus and was taken on special
visits with Jesus that most of the other Apostles did not attend. John
was definitely a member of the inner circle. Like nearly all the
Apostles, John is hardly mentioned except for a few times in the
Gospels. The gospels are about Jesus not the Apostles. They accompanied
Jesus in His journeys but the focus is on His words and actions and the
theme of repentance, salvation and redemption through the new law of
love toward God and His creatures.
John received Mary from Jesus immediately before Jesus died on the
cross. St. Joseph had died before Jesus' public ministry and Christ
entrusted John to care for the only possession that Jesus had,
There is some evidence that Mary went with John to Ephesus and may have
live there for a while. John cared for her and watched over Mary in the
manner that she wanted him to and traveled with Mary whenever she wanted
him for extra protection. Although John appears to have been the least
traveled of the Apostles he took his responsibility of caring for Mary,
his parents and his relatives most serious.
Tradition indicates that Mary went to John's house on Mount Zion in
Jerusalem. According to this tradition, it was from there that the
Virgin's body was assumed incorrupt, into heaven.
There were churches there that were mentioned in the Book of
Revelations. John did some supervising and according to "The
Constitution of the Holy Apostles", he ordained bishops as well as
priests in each of the cities of Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
John probably lived longer than any of the other Apostles and some
traditions say that Mary lived to her late sixties
or early seventies.
John was the author of the fourth Gospel, three
Catholic Epistles and The Book of Revelation. The gospel of John is
quite different from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the synoptic
gospel authors. They would follow a sort of similarity and John would
focus on the earlier ministry of Jesus. John seems to write from a
theological aspects and was forever highlighting the importance of
loving one another and that God is love.
According to St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, John never married.
He lived at Ephesus in Asia Minor for
some time and died a natural death
at about 100. The attempts on his life failed through divine intervention. St
Jerome, Doctor of the Church, stated that John was nearly martyred at
Rome and that he was thrown into a cauldron of hot oil, but somehow
In art, he is
represented by any eagle, and his Symbols are the chalice, eagle,
serpent, sword, and cauldron.
St. John's feast day is Dec 27.
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