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.