Prayer for the Intercession of
St. John the Apostle
December 29, 1996
Brother John Raymond
A few years ago someone gave me a special gift, a plaque made of
wood from the Island of Patmos with pictures of Our Lord and St.
John the Apostle on it. Why was it special? For two reasons: First
because I chose St. John as my name patron and second because of
where the wood came from.
St. John was the son of Zebedee and Salome and the brother of St.
James the Great. He was a Galilean fisherman. John was a person
looking for the truth. I infer this from the fact that before His
call by Jesus he was already a disciple of St. John the Baptist,
along with Peter and Andrew. It was through the Baptist that St.
John met Jesus.
St. John seems to have enjoyed a special intimacy with Jesus. He
is the one who, during the Last Supper, leaned on Jesus' breast. He
was numbered among the three Apostles who shared special moments
with Jesus__Peter, James and John. He refers to himself in the
Gospel as the "disciple whom Jesus loved." John was probably present
in the court of Caiphas during Jesus' trial. He alone among the
Apostles stood beneath the Cross and received Mary as his Mother
directly from Our Crucified Lord. On Easter Sunday he outran Peter
to the tomb, looked in, and believed. Some days later he alone among
the Apostles exclaimed from their fishing boat about the man on the
shore, "It is the Lord."
After the Ascension, John preached with Peter in the Temple. He
went with him to Samaria. He was present at the first Church Council
at Jerusalem. St. Paul considered him one of the "pillars" of the
Church. At some point St. John left for Asia Minor, settling in
Ephesus with Mary. St. Irenaeus who knew St. Polycarp, a disciple of
John, several times recalls the teaching of John in Ephesus in his
writings. (cf. Adv. Haer., II, 22, 59)
One tradition states that John was taken to Rome during the reign
of the Emperor Domitian. There he was miraculously saved from
martyrdom. Then he was banished to the Island of Patmos, a penal
colony off the coast of Turkey. According to early tradition, it was
here that he received the visions of the Apocalypse in a cave. This
cave is now hidden within, and below, the buildings of the Monastery
of the Apocalypse.
The early historian Eusebius tells us that after Domitian's reign
he was succeeded by Nerva. Under him the Roman senate decreed that
those unjustly exiled could return to their homes and have their
goods restored. It was then that the Apostle John "returned from his
banishment in Patmos, and took up his abode at Ephesus, according to
an ancient tradition of the Church." (Ecclesiastical History,
Eusebius, Chapter 20, p. 103) This would have been around the year
96. Further Eusebius tells us that John the Apostle and Evangelist
governed the churches in Asia. At Ephesus St. John wrote his Gospel.
Its soaring theology is represented by the eagle, which has been
used in symbolism to represent him. Three epistles are attributed to
St. John. He died peacefully at Ephesus in about the year 100 at the
age of about ninety-four years old. His feast day is December 27.
God our Father, You have revealed the mysteries of Your Word
through John the Apostle. Through his intercession and our prayer
and reflection may we come to understand the wisdom he taught.
This Apostle was the beloved of Your Son and reclined on His
breast. Through his intercession, may we come to understand and
experience the love of the Sacred Heart for us.
At the foot of the Cross, Your Son gave Mary as a mother to St.
John. Through his intercession, may we grow in a tender relationship
with Mary our mother.
All this Father, we ask in the Name of Your Son, Jesus, Who lives
and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.