Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
Apostle and Evangelist.
Feast Day 27 December.
Station at Saint Mary Major.
Indulgence of 30 Years and 30 Quarantines.
Double of the Second-Class
with Simple Octave.
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist
Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640).
Date: Circa 1611.
The Four Holy Men
(Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Peter)
Artist: Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528).
Current location: Alte Pinakothek,
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art.
It is God Whom we adore at Bethlehem during Christmas time. Thus, it was natural that Saint John, the chief Evangelist of The Divinity of Christ, should be found beside the Crib, to disclose the greatness of The Infant Who reposes therein.
It is to him that Jesus wished to entrust His Mother when Joseph will have passed away. The Liturgy, therefore, loves to show together, beside The Child and His Mother, him whom the Gospel calls The Apostle, the Just Man, and whom The Church today honours with the same title (Offertory).
Crowned with the halo of those who knew how to to conquer their flesh, for this reason he became "the Disciple whom Jesus loved, and who also leaned on His breast at Supper" (Gospel). Thanks to his Angelic purity, he imbibed that wholesome wisdom of which the Epistle speaks and which won for him the halo of Doctor.
The Introit of his Mass is the one The Church uses in the "Common of Doctors". It is to Saint John, who wrote a Gospel, three Epistles and The Apocalypse, that we owe the most beautiful pages on the Divinity of The Word Made Flesh; and it is for this reason that he is symbolised by the eagle which soars in the heights.
The desire to connect the great Saints with The Feast of The Nativity was the cause of Celebrating on this day, except at Rome, the Feast of Saint James, brother of Saint John, and on 28 December that of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
"On this day, wine offered by The Faithful is Blessed in Remembrance and in honour of Saint John, who, without any ill effects, drank a cup of poisoned wine" (Roman Ritual).
Every Parish Priest celebrates Mass for the people of his Parish.