Who is St John the Beloved?
Did you know that there is an apostle that Jesus loved so much that he has been dubbed “The Beloved” by the people of the Church for the past 2,000 years?
What an incredible nickname! Let’s take a few minutes today to dive a little deeper into who this man is so we can know him and love him and ask him for guidance throughout our lives.
Who is St John The Beloved?
“St John The Evangelist, who is styled in the gospel, The beloved disciple of Christ,” was a Galilean, the son of Zebedee and Salome, and younger brother of St. James the Great, with whom he was brought up to the trade of fishing.” – EWTN
Firstly, people ask “Is John the Apostle the same as John the Beloved?”. Let’s clarify that St John the Beloved is also called St John the Evangelist. However, all of the apostles did a fantastic job of evangelizing even to the point of death so I think what makes St John the Beloved more distinct is His relationship with our Lord, Jesus.
- He was called in Scripture… “the one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23)
- He laid his head on Jesus’ chest during the last supper
- Cataclysmically, Jesus gave Mary, His very own mother, to St John the Beloved and essentially to us all
Now, if that doesn’t describe a person of high esteem, I don’t know what does! Incredible, right?
Let’s dive even deeper into who this man was and why the Church celebrates him every year on December 27th.
Who is St John the Beloved?
Is John the Apostle the same as John the Beloved?
The names John the Apostle and St John the Beloved do refer to the same person. John the Apostle, more generally referred to as Saint John, was one of Jesus’ twelve apostles and played a significant part in the early Christian movement. He is sometimes referred to as St John the Beloved because of the strong bond that is said to have grown between him and Jesus. John appears frequently in the New Testament texts of the Gospel of John and the three writings together are referred to as the Epistles of John. Several other New Testament works are believed to have been written by John as well.
Is John the Beloved the Same as John the Revelator?
Since it is widely acknowledged that St John the Beloved is the author of the New Testament book of Revelation, he is sometimes referred to as John the Revelator. This book is frequently referred to as the Apocalypse of John or the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is a book of prophecy that describes how the earth will end and how humanity will be judged in the end.
Did St John the Beloved write the Book of Revelation?
Among many of his special qualities, St John the Beloved did write the book of Revelation. Surprisingly enough, he is also the author of the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.
So, to help you memorize that. St John the Beloved wrote:
- The Gospel of John
- 1 John
- 2 John
- 3 John
The Gospel of John was written around the year 90 AD and is one of the four canonical gospels in the New Testament, which means it is accepted as part of the official canon of the Christian Bible by most Christian denominations.
It is the only one of the four gospels that does not contain a narrative of Jesus’ life and ministry. Instead, it focuses on Jesus’ teachings, his miracles, and his relationship with his disciples, particularly St John the Beloved himself.
The three letters known as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John are also part of the New Testament and are traditionally attributed to St John the Beloved. These letters are thought to have been written to early Christian communities to encourage them in their faith and to address various issues facing the church at the time.
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament and is also traditionally attributed to St John the Beloved. It is a prophetic book that contains visions and prophecies about the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus.
The philosophy of John is a narrative of the life and training of Jesus. It emphasizes Jesus’ divinity and his part as the Son of God, and it presents numerous notorious sayings of Jesus, including the” I Am” statements in which Jesus identifies himself as the” I Am” who spoke to Moses at the burning bush.
The Letters of John, also known as the First, Second, and Third letters of John, are brief letters addressed to early Christian communities that address issues of false teachings and encourage the new believers to live in agreement with what Jesus taught them.
The Book of Revelation describes a series of events that will occur at the end of the age, including the return of Jesus and the final judgment.
St John the Beloved Represents All of Us
While Jesus was dying on the cross, it was in His comment to St John the Beloved that he gave us a very special gift. Jesus gave us His very own mother. Catholic Answers answers this very well…
“If the Blessed Mother actually gave birth to other children, as many Protestants mistakenly believe, it would be unthinkable to put her in the care of St John the Beloved, a non-blood relative, because the ancient Jews greatly valued family and related responsibilities.
Instead, Jesus puts his mother in the care of his apostle John. And even though John is not a son of Mary, Jesus refers to John as her son and Mary as John’s mother. Mary is thus seen as the spiritual mother of all disciples.” – Catholic.com
When did John the Beloved disciple die?
The exact date of St John the Beloved’s death is not recorded in the Bible or in any other historical documents. According to tradition, he was the only apostle who did not die a martyr’s death, but instead lived to a very old age.
There are various accounts of the circumstances of St John the Beloved’s death and the location of his burial. One tradition holds that he was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation, and that he later returned to Ephesus, a city in modern-day Turkey, where he lived out the rest of his life. Another tradition holds that he died in Ephesus and was buried there.
Regardless of the specifics of his death, Saint John is remembered and revered as a saint in many Christian denominations, and his contributions to the Bible and to the early Christian church are treasured and studied today.
When do we celebrate St John the Beloved Apostle?
St John the Beloved, is celebrated on a number of feast days in the Christian calendar. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates his feast day on September 26, whereas the Roman Catholic Church celebrates it on December 27. St John the Beloved is honored and remembered not only on these specific feast days, but also during the Easter liturgical season and the Feast of All Saints. Christians observe feast days to commemorate the lives and contributions of important figures in the development of their religion.
How do we celebrate St John the Beloved Feast Day?
There are several ways to celebrate St John the Beloved’s feast day, also known as John the Apostle’s Day. Observing this day typically takes the following forms:
- Attending a St John the Beloved’s Day Mass or another religious event
- Praying and considering St John the Beloved’s life and teachings
- Bible reading and study, especially St John the Beloved’s Gospel and Epistles
- Honoring St John the Beloved’s example of selfless love and compassion for others by engaging in charity and service-oriented activities
- Dinner with loved ones and friends while reflecting on the importance of St John the beloved’s life and work
This day may be observed by each individual or group differently. The main point is to grow closer to Christ while meditating on how much St John the Beloved loved our Lord and falling in love with Jesus the same way.
What is the St John the Beloved Prayer?
There are countless prayers and devotions dedicated to St John the Beloved, also known as John the Apostle. The following brief prayer might be used to enlist St John the Beloved’s assistance:
“O Glorious Saint John, you were so loved by Jesus that you merited to rest your head upon his breast, and to be left in his place as a son to Mary. Obtain for us an ardent love for Jesus and Mary. Let me be united with them now on earth and forever after in heaven.” – Heavenly Divine
Did learning about St John The Beloved Inspire You?
Are you inspired by what you’ve learned today about St John the Beloved? Does it make your heart ignited knowing that Jesus loves you just as much as He loves St John?
Did you know that you can join us every day as we learn about the Saint of the Day? Take a minute to sign up for my daily saint emails that I’ll send you delivered straight to your email inbox. I know people are busy so I keep it short and sweet but also very educational so you can live your life with the saints as I do.
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Well, that’s all for today.
I’ll see you back tomorrow with another Saint of the Day to inspire you!