Wednesday, December 27, 2017

St John's Day

To day is not only the third day in the octave of Christmas but also St John's day.  The old Roman breviary had this to say about St John:

The Apostle John whom Jesus loved exceedingly, was the son of Zebedee, and the brother of the Apostle James, whom Herod beheaded after the Lord's Passion.  He wrote his Gospel the last of all, at the request of the bishops of Asia, against Cerinthus and other heretics.  Especially was he compelled to declare the divine birth of Christ,since the Ebionites had begun  to teach that Christ did not exist previous to Mary.

In the 14th year of Domitian, who stirred up the second  persecution after that of Nero, John was banished to the island of Patmos.  There he wrote the Apocalypse, which has been explained by  Justin Martyr and Irenæus.  But when Domitian was murdered, the senate annulled all his acts on account of their excessive cruelty, and John returned to Ephesus during the reign of Nerva.  Remaining there until the reign of Trajan he founded and governed all the churches of Asia.  Worn out with old age, he died sixty-eight years after the Lord's Passion and was buried near the same city of Ephesus.

From the 2d nocturn, quoting S Jerome, "On Ecclesiastical Writers".  The translation is that of the old Stanbrook Abbey breviary published in 1936.

St John's day is also the proper day to get your wine blessed.  If you haven't done it yet, it's probably too late.  But here's the gist of what you missed.