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Saint of the Day December 27: St. John

St. John the Apostle: Life, Teachings and Legacy of the Beloved Disciple of Christ


St. John


Apostle and evangelist


I century , Bethsaida


c. 104, Ephesus


27 December



O Glorious St. John, who by that angelic purity, which always formed your character, and merited for you the most singular privileges, namely, of being the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, of resting on His bosom, of contemplating His glory, of witnessing up close the most stupendous prodigies, and finally of being from the very mouth of the Redeemer declared to be the son and guardian of His divine Mother; obtain for us, we beseech you, O Glorious St. John, the grace of always jealously guarding the chastity convenient to our state, and of avoiding everything that might offend it menomely, in order to merit for us the most distinguished graces, and especially the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the surest pledge of perseverance in goodness and of eternal beatitude. Glory.

Patron Saint of

San Giovanni la Punta, Sansepolcro, Ponsacco, Teverola, Montelupo Fiorentino, Montopoli in Val d’Arno, Montale, Gavirate, Galbiate, Mariglianella

Protector of

Editors, writers, theologians

Roman Martyrology

Near Ephesus the birthplace of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, who, after writing the Gospel, after being banished into exile and after the divine Apocalypse, living until the time of Prince Trajan, founded and governed the Churches throughout Asia, and finally, worn out by old age, died in the sixty-eighth year after the passion of the Lord, and was buried near the said city.

The Saint and Mission

St. John, known as the Apostle of Love and the Beloved Disciple, deeply embodies the Christian mission through his close relationship with Jesus, his inspired writings, and his commitment to spreading the Gospel. His life and ministry offer a unique perspective on how to live and share the good news of God’s love.

St. John’s mission is manifested initially in his role as a direct witness to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. As one of the few who were with Jesus during the crucial events of his ministry, John had an intimate and personal understanding of Christ’s love and sacrifice. This direct experience became the basis from which to share the gospel message with authority and depth.

Through his writings-the Gospel according to John, three letters and Revelation-John expresses a profound theology centered on love, light and truth. His Gospel, in particular, is notable for the way it deepens the identity and mission of Jesus as the Son of God, inviting readers to believe and find life in his name. His emphasis on God’s love and brotherly love is central to his mission, emphasizing how knowledge of God is intrinsically linked to active love for others.

Moreover, St. John’s ministry was not limited to words; he was also an active leader in the early church. After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, John assumed a leadership role, helping to establish and strengthen communities of believers. His dedication to leading, protecting and teaching reflects his understanding of mission as a constant and loving commitment to the body of Christ.

Finally, the figure of St. John is emblematic of mission as a path of personal transformation. His closeness to Jesus transformed him from a “son of thunder” to an apostle of love, showing how Christian mission is an ongoing journey of growth toward greater Christ-likeness.

St. John teaches us that Christian mission is rooted in a deep relationship with Jesus and is expressed in a commitment to live and share his love. Through his life, writings and ministry, John encourages us to be witnesses of God’s love, leading others to the truth and life found in Christ.

The Saint and Mercy

St. John, known as the Apostle of Love and the Beloved Disciple, offers a profound reflection on mercy through his life and writings. His closeness to Jesus during his earthly ministry, his authorship of key New Testament writings, and his apostolic ministry reveal how mercy is woven into the fabric of his Christian witness.

Mercy in St. John is initially manifested in his relationship with Jesus. As one of the three closest disciples, John experienced Christ’s mercy in unique ways, witnessing miracles, healings, and the supreme act of mercy on the cross. These experiences profoundly shaped his understanding of God as love and mercy incarnate, a theme that permeates his writings.

In his Gospels and letters, John emphasizes God as love and the call to love others as a reflection of God’s love. This emphasis on love is, in its essence, an invitation to live mercy in daily life. To love as God loves is to extend mercy, forgiveness and compassion to all, especially those who are on the margins or in need of care and attention.

St. John also showed mercy in his apostolic ministry. After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, John became a key figure in the early Church, guiding believers in Christian faith and practice. His approach was characterized by a deep sense of pastoral care, eager to protect believers from false doctrines and to guide them toward a deeper understanding of God’s love and mercy.

Finally, tradition tells of John as an amiable and gentle elder, continuing to teach and practice love and mercy until the end of his days. This portrait of John in old age, still engaged in ministry and witness to God’s love, serves as a powerful reminder of the persistence of the mission of mercy at every stage of life.

St. John’s life and works teach us that mercy is a central call in the Christian life. Through his close relationship with Christ, his writings that emphasize divine love and mercy, and his ongoing commitment to serving the Christian community, John shows us how to live deeply immersed in God’s merciful love, extending that love to everyone we encounter.


The son of Zebedee and Mary Salome and brother of James the Lesser, he was practicing as a fisherman in Lake Tiberias when Jesus called him to the apostolate.

John was then in the prime of life, most pure, and because of this purity he merited singular favor from the Lord; hearing the voice of God, he abandoned his nets and…


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