St. John the Evangelist
Feastday: December 27
St. John was the son of Zebedee and thought to be a cousin of Jesus, by the sister of the Virgin Mary. John worked as a fisherman with his brother James, his father Zebedee and his partner Simon working on the shores of the sea of Galilee. John and his brother were followers of John the Baptist and then Jesus. John the Baptist referred to Jesus with the words "Behold the Lamb of God!". John left his life as a fisherman to follow Jesus. He followed Jesus as one of his disciples until Jesus was crucified. In the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension, John returned to his home at the Sea of Galilee with Peter. When Christ appeared on the shore John was the first to recognize him. John then went to work in Jerusalem and at Ephesus (modern day Turkey) preaching the ministry of Jesus and was responsible for the conversion of many people. He lived to an old age and died of natural causes in AD99 of natural causes.
How Saint John the Evangelist is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint John the Evangelist in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. Saint John the Evangelist is represented in Christian Art with a Sacramental cup with a winged serpent issuing from it. This is in allusion to the legend that when Aristodemus, the priest of Diana, challenged him to drink a cup of poison, St. John made the sign of the Cross upon it, and then drained its contents, which proved innocuous. As Evangelist, St. John is attended by an eagle, because, since that bird soars higher into the heavens than any other, so his soul, in virtue of its singular purity, mounted up to receive the light of Divine Wisdom.