Saint Brigid Religious Education
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John

John was a Galilean, son of Zebedee and Salome and brother 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, His Mother. 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 emerged unhurt.

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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