Happy Feast Day to St John the Evangelist in Birchwood!
St. John is the brother of James, the Sons of Thunder. He is also thought to be the beloved disciple in the Gospel of John that is not mentioned by name.
Here are some traditional stories:
• Emperor Domitian had him brought to Rome, beaten, poisoned, and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but he stepped out unharmed and was banished to Patmos instead. This is commemorated by the feast of Saint John before the Latin Gate.
• When John was in route to preach in Asia, his ship was wrecked in a storm; all but John was cast ashore. John was assumed dead, but two weeks later the waves cast him ashore alive at the feet of his disciple Prochoros.
• When John denounced idol worship as demonic, followers of Artemis stoned him; the rocks turned and hit the throwers.
• He prayed in a temple of Artemis; fire from heaven killed 200 men who worshipped the idol. When the remaining group begged for mercy, he raised the 200 from the dead; they all converted and were baptized.
• Drove out a demon who had lived in a pagan temple for 249 years.
• Aboard ship, he purified vessels of sea water for drinking.
• Ceonops, a magician, pretended to bring three dead people come to life; the “people” were demons who mimicked people so the magician could turn people away from Christ. Through prayer, John caused the magician to drown and the demons to vanish.
• Once a year his grave gave off a fragrant dust that cured the sick.
John died in the year 101. St. John the Evangelist pray for us.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and if the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen