Saint John

Apostle John

Saint John
Saint John

According to the New Testament, the Apostle Saint John was one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles.

He was the son of Zebedee and Salome and was generally regarded as the youngest apostle. Giacomo il Maggiore, another of the Twelve Apostles, was his brother.

L'apostolo San Giovanni (attivo I secolo d.C.), uno deiI 12 Apostoli di Gesù, è tradizionalmente considerato l'autore del Quarto Vangelo, del Libro dell'Apocalisse e di tre Lettere, o Epistole, che portano il suo nome.

Throughout the Gospels, John and James, along with Peter, are portrayed as the most closely associated with Jesus of all his disciples. John, along with Peter and James, witnesses Jesus’ supernatural communication with Moses and Elijah on Mt. Tabor; the night before Jesus’ death, he is present in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Quando tutti gli altri abbandonano Gesù morente, rimane solo Giovanni, e Gesù affida alle sue cure sua madre, Maria. Dopo la morte di Gesù, Giovanni viene presentato come uno dei capi dei discepoli di Gesù di Gerusalemme.

In the book of Acts, John, along with Peter and James, testifies about Jesus. He and Peter travel to Samaria to confirm new converts (Acts 8:14; Acts 8:15; Acts 8:16; Acts 8:17; Acts 8:18; Acts 8:19; Acts 8:20; Acts 8:21; Acts 8:22; Acts 8:23; Acts 8:24; Acts 8:25).

Saint John
Saint John

Birth/Origins

Giovanni, figlio di Zebedeo e Salome, nacque in Galilea, molto probabilmente tra il 10 e il 15 d.C.. Suo padre era unfisherman, which is what John was doing when he met and followed Jesus (Mark 5:37).

His mother became one of the women who served Jesus’ followers (Mark 15:40; Mark 15:41; Mark 16:1).

James, his brother, also followed Jesus. Both brothers were nicknamed Boanerges by Jesus, which means “sons of thunder” in Aramaic (Marco 3:17), about their fiery demeanor toward Jesus.

Diego Velázquez 018 (John the Evangelist from Patmos)
Full title: Saint John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos Artist: Diego Velazquez Date made: about 1618 Source: http://www.nationalgalleryimages.co.uk/ Contact: picture.library@nationalgallery.co.uk Copyright © The National Gallery, London

Saint John’s Life with Christ

John, one of the first twelve apostles called by Jesus and known as the “beloved disciple,” knew and loved Jesus well. He witnessed him teach and perform miracles. John had the honor of sitting next to Jesus and leaning against his breast at the Last Supper (Giovanni 13:23).

He was the only disciple who remained with the Lord as he died on the cross, where Jesus entrusted his mother’s care to him (John 19:25; Giovanni 19:26; John 19:27).

Through prayerful reflection on Jesus’ words and deeds, John realized that Jesus is the way to eternal life (John 14:6)–a life revealed to the disciples first, and then to all people: “What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).

I viaggi di Giovanni con Gesù

During major events, Peter, James, and John traveled with and were close to Jesus. The three were with Jesus when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, as well as during Jesus’ transfiguration when he became robed in light and Moses and Elijah appeared.

Questi tre erano presenti anche quando Gesù pregò nell'orto del Getsemani, addormentandosi più volte la notte prima della crocifissione di Gesù, nonostante le istruzioni di Gesù di rimanere sveglio e pregare.

Pietro e Giovanni furono persino incaricati di preparare l'Ultima Cena per Gesù e i suoi discepoli, l'occasione epocale in cui Gesù fu tradito e iniziò la tradizione che divenne nota come l'Eucaristia, o ciò che oggi chiamiamo comunione.

Giacomo e Giovanni erano zelanti nella loro devozione a Gesù e al suo messaggio, che spesso portava ad azioni affrettate. Per questo Gesù si riferì ai fratelli come "Boanerges" o "Figli del tuono".

Desideravano invocare i fuochi del cielo su un gruppo di samaritani che avevano rigettato Gesù e i suoi discepoli, guadagnandosi il rimprovero dei fratelli da parte di Gesù. Per la loro importanza o vicinanza a Gesù, i due chiesero addirittura di poter sedere su troni accanto a lui nella sua gloria.

St John (Hals)
San Giovanni (Hals)

John in the Scripture

Giovanni è meglio conosciuto come l'autore del Vangelo di Giovanni, così come di altri tre libri del Nuovo Testamento, le Epistole di Giovanni e il Libro dell'Apocalisse.

The authorship of the Gospel is attributed to the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” and John 21:24 claims the Gospel of John is based on the testimony of the “Beloved Disciple.”

Tuttavia, la vera paternità è stata contestata dall'anno 200. Secondo la Storia Ecclesiastica di Eusebio, la Prima Lettera di Giovanni e il Vangelo di Giovanni sono ampiamente accettati come di Giovanni. Eusebio prosegue con il secondo e il terzo punto.

Achievements

San Giovanni è il patrono degli autori, dell'amore, della lealtà e dell'amicizia. Nell'arte, è spesso raffigurato con un'aquila, che simboleggia "l'altezza a cui è salito nel suo vangelo". Altre icone lo raffigurano alzando gli occhi al cielo e dettando il suo Vangelo al suo discepolo.

Giovanni ricoprì una posizione autorevole nella chiesa primitiva, come testimonia la sua visita in Samaria con San Pietro per mettere le mani sui nuovi convertiti. Ha svolto un ruolo importante nella conversione di San Paolo. L'evidenza non supporta l'opposizione di Giovanni alla concessione dell'appartenenza dei Gentili alla chiesa.

St John
San Giovanni

Life Facts

Gli unici due apostoli inviati da Gesù a preparare l'ultima cena pasquale,l'ultima Cena, erano Giovanni e Pietro. Anziché sdraiarsi sui divani, San Giovanni si sedette accanto a Gesù, appoggiandosi a lui durante il pasto.

John was the only one of the Twelve Apostles who did not abandon the Savior during His crucifixion. When the Savior appointed him as the guardian of His Mother, he stood faithfully at the cross.

Secondo la tradizione della Chiesa, Giovanni si recò a Efeso dopo l'Assunzione di Maria. Successivamente, fu esiliato dai romani nell'isola greca di Patmos, dove avrebbe scritto il Libro dell'Apocalisse.

San Giovanni Morte

According to the most plausible theory of John’s death, he was arrested in Ephesus and faced martyrdom when his enemies threw him into a large basin of boiling oil. However, according to legend, John was miraculously saved from death. The authorities then sentenced John to slave labor in Patmos’ mines.

Giovanni ebbe una visione di Gesù Cristo e scrisse il libro profetico dell'Apocalisse su quest'isola nel sud del Mar Egeo. Più tardi, forse a causa della vecchiaia, l'apostolo Giovanni fu rilasciato e tornò in quella che oggi è la Turchia. Morì pacificamente da vecchio qualche tempo dopo il 98 d.C., unico apostolo a farlo.

Giovanni ebbe una visione di Gesù Cristo e scrisse il libro profetico dell'Apocalisse su quest'isola nel sud del Mar Egeo. Più tardi, forse a causa della vecchiaia, l'apostolo Giovanni fu rilasciato e tornò in quella che oggi è la Turchia. Morì pacificamente da vecchio qualche tempo dopo il 98 d.C., unico apostolo a farlo.

Un'altra teoria sulla morte di Giovanni è legata al Papia di Hierapolis, vescovo del II secolo. Secondo un'interpretazione degli scritti di Papia, Giovanni fu assassinato da un gruppo di uomini ebrei. Molti storici, tuttavia, ritengono che Papia sia stato citato erroneamente o letto male, mettendo in dubbio la credibilità della teoria.

C'è anche una leggenda che afferma che Giovanni non morì ma invece ascese direttamente al cielo, come Enoch ed Elia. Non ci sono prove bibliche a sostegno di questa storia.

Finally, it is not necessary to know how the apostle John died. What matters is that he was not ashamed of Christ and was willing to die for his faith (see Luke 9:26). A man will not die for something he believes in. A man will not die for something he knows to be a lie. John knew the truth that Jesus had been resurrected, and he was willing to die rather than renounce his faith in his Savior.

St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
St. John the Apostle and Evangelist

Key Takeaway

Dio chiama e gli uomini rispondono. La vocazione di Giovanni e di suo fratello Giacomo, così come di Pietro e di suo fratello Andrea, è affermata molto semplicemente nei Vangeli: Gesù li chiamò; loro hanno seguito. Il racconto dimostra l'assolutezza della loro risposta.

“They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He summoned them, and they immediately abandoned their boat and father to follow him” (Matthew 4:21; Matthew 4:22).

Quella fede doveva essere ricompensata da un'amicizia speciale con Gesù per i tre ex pescatori: Pietro, Giacomo e Giovanni. Furono gli unici ad aver assistito alla Trasfigurazione, alla resurrezione della figlia di Iairo e all'agonia nel Getsemani. Ma l'amicizia di John era qualcosa di speciale. La tradizione gli attribuisce il Quarto Vangelo, ma la maggior parte dei moderni studiosi della Bibbia crede che l'apostolo e l'evangelista non siano le stesse persone.

Characteristics of Apostle John

Characteristics of Saint John (also referred to as Saint John by the Catholic church) made us understand that sometimes he was confused with John the Baptist perhaps, these men were two very different figures in Biblical history. John the Apostle was the younger brother of James and also a fisherman. John is known for writing five books of the Bible.

John, too, seems to have had a similar disposition—at least during the early part of his relationship with Christ—when, along with his brother James, he blazed in anger at the Samaritans who would not give Jesus hospitality for the night. With good reason, just as explained in the characteristics of the 12 apostles Jesus had given the brothers the name ‘Boanerges’—sons of thunder. Of the 12 disciples, Simon, the Zealot, appeared to be hot-headed, and he, too, was chosen by Jesus to be His disciple.

Saint John
Saint John

John a Hot-headed Man

The Galilean fishermen, of whom John was one, were notoriously tough and volatile characters who would not hesitate to speak out plainly on any occasion which concerned them.

Peter, for example, when confronted during Christ’s trial by a young girl who accused him of being one of His disciples, lapsed into swearing and cursing (Matthew 26:74).

John’s passionate disposition was held in check and under control, and he was allowed to vent only on occasions when it was permissible and even necessary. In John’s gospel writings, note the intensity that he had displayed, but directed only against those who refused to believe in and acknowledge Jesus as the Christ.

John, too, seems to have had a similar disposition—at least during the early part of his relationship with Christ—when, along with his brother James, he blazed in anger at the Samaritans who would not give Jesus hospitality for the night.

With good reason, it seems, Jesus had given the brothers the name ‘Boanerges’—sons of thunder (Marco 3:17).

Apostle John the Theologian on the island of Patmos. Mironov
Apostle John the Theologian on the island of Patmos. Mironov

John; an Ambitious Man

No doubt, as Jesus expounded to His disciples the truths concerning the coming Kingdom, those who were more ambitious coveted a privileged position in the new regime.

Peter, on one occasion, wanted to know from Christ what his reward would be for having left all to follow Him (Mark 10:28).

Again, when traveling to Capernaum, the disciples were found arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest among them (Mark 9:34). It is evident from this and other incidents in the disciples’ lives that ambition was high on their list of priorities.

James and John, probably encouraged by their mother, wanted the two top jobs in the Kingdom and are considered by many commentators to be the two most ambitious disciples.

John the Beloved Disciple

It seems, from the record contained in the Gospels, that John became the closest to Jesus of all the disciples.

John occupied the place of honor at the Last Supper, where he could engage in close and intimate conversation with his Master (Giovanni 13:23John 13:24John 13:25John 13:26).

This closeness between himself and Jesus is also seen as we study the Gospel he wrote, for there we see signs of an intimate understanding of the ideas of the Lord that is not quite evident in the writings of Matthew.

He selects John to be the one who will have the responsibility for His mother, Mary.

This close relationship between Jesus and John comes over most clearly in the moments before Jesus’ death, when He selects John to be the one who will have the responsibility for the care of His mother, Mary.

A Special Trio

During the three-year period in which Jesus talked and walked with His disciples, there were several occasions when He took three of them apart for a special purpose. The three who were singled out for this special favor were Peter, James, and John.

The first of these occasions was in the house of Jairus when Jesus raised the ruler’s dead daughter back to life.
The second was on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus was transfigured before them.
And the third was in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus took them into the heart of the garden so that they might be with Him during His deep spiritual struggle.

Interestingly, all three occasions when Jesus took Peter, James, and John apart were connected with the theme of death.

Saint John the Apostle
Saint John the Apostle

A Caring Friend

Although John was once a ‘son of thunder,’ it becomes obvious that his relationship with Jesus changed him from a proud zealot into a kind, deeply loving, and considerate person.

So, amazing is the change in John that he seems altogether a different disciple to the one who teamed up with Jesus in the beginning.

What produced such a dramatic change?

We have already seen that it resulted from spending time in the presence of Jesus, listening to His words, and imbibing His spirit. John was a good learner, for what Jesus taught and demonstrated he not only saw and heard but assimilated into his person and put it into daily practice.

An Active Missionary

In the early days of the Christian Church in Jerusalem, it seems that the believers met to pray, not only in their homes but also in the Temple (Acts 2:46).

On one occasion, when John and Peter passed through the Beautiful Gate on the way to the Temple, they encountered a beggar asking for alms.

Peter and John were unable to give any financial help, but they gave him something better—healing and deliverance through the Name of Jesus.

The healing of the lame man resulted in the immediate gathering together of a great crowd which, in turn, furnished them with the opportunity to present the claims of Jesus Christ to the people.

As a result of their preaching, they were both charged not to preach anymore, but they decided to disobey the authorities and continue their anointed witness to the Lord Jesus.

Summary Characteristics

With his fiery temperament and special devotion to the Savior, John gained a favored place in Christ’s inner circle. His enormous impact on the early Christian church and his larger-than-life personality makes him a fascinating character study. His writings reveal contrasting traits.

For instance, on the first Easter morning, with his typical zeal and enthusiasm, John raced Peter to the tomb after Mary Magdalene reported that it was now empty. Although John won the race and bragged about this achievement in his Gospel (John 20:1Giovanni 20:2John 20:3John 20:4John 20:5John 20:6John 20:7John 20:8John 20:9), he humbly allowed Peter to enter the tomb first.

Facts

There are John the Apostle facts that made us know that he wrote more about love than any other New Testament author. His proximity to Jesus taught him much about love. He played a leading role in the early church in Jerusalem. John was the son of Zebedee, a Galilean fisherman, and Salome. In the Gospel According to Mark, he is always mentioned after James and was no doubt the younger brother. His mother was among those women who ministered to the circle of disciples. He was exiled to the island of Patmos under Domitian, but after his death, John was allowed to return to Ephesus where he governed churches in Asia until his death at about A.D. 100.

Apostle John Logo
Apostle John Logo

John the Apostle Facts and Symbols

John’s symbol is a snake in a cup. Traditional sources claim that John was the only apostle to live a long life and die of natural causes. That, however, doesn’t mean that he never faced persecution.

The same sources claim that the Romans tried to poison John with a cup of wine. When that didn’t work, they threw him into a vat of boiling oil. When he still didn’t die, they exiled him to the island of Patmos where he wrote Revelation.

John wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone except the apostle Paul. His most important work was the Gospel of John, which is the most mystical and symbolic of the gospels. He also wrote Revelation, as mentioned above, and the three letters of John.

St John Trivia

John the Apostle is often depicted as an aged man with a white or grey beard in Byzantine art or as a beardless youth in the art of Medieval Western Europe. In Medieval paintings, sculptures, and literature, he is also often presented as an androgynous or feminine figure.

John the Apostle’s Facts and Miracles

The KJV of the Bible does not record any miracles done by John. However, in Acts, he is present when Peter invokes Jesus’ name to heal a lame man. John’s enormous contributions do include the Gospel of John, 1,2,3 John, and the Book of Revelations.

The highest pinnacle of John’s time with Jesus is debatable. Was it being at Jesus’ transfiguration? Was it at being the first of the male disciples to enter Jesus’ empty tomb? Or was it his vision of the End Times? As for me, I think John’s greatest accomplishment may well have been entrusted by Jesus to care for Jesus’ mother Mary after Christ’s crucifixion.

Later Life & Death

While it is unknown for how long John the Apostle stayed in Judea, he and the other disciples were scattered through the Roman Empire’s provinces as Herod Agrippa began the persecution of Christians. He took care of the mother of Jesus until the Assumption of Mary and then went to Ephesus where he wrote his three epistles.

According to Christian writer Tertullian, for preaching the gospel, Roman authorities exiled him to the Greek island of Patmos after throwing him into boiling oil from which he escaped unscathed. He received the revelation from Christ in Patmos, where he wrote the ‘Book of Revelation’.

He eventually returned to Ephesus, where he died of old age sometime after 98 C.E., and was buried in modern-day Selçuk, Turkey, where his tomb is located. While early second-century bishop Papias of Hierapolis claimed that he was slain by the Jews, many doubt the authenticity of the claim, with some arguing that it was John the Baptist.

Liturgical commemoration

The feast day of Saint John in the Roman Catholic Church, which calls him “Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist”, and in the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Calendars, which call him “Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist”, is on 27 December. In the Tridentine Calendar, he was commemorated also on each of the following days up to and including 3 January, the Octave of the 27 December feast. This Octave was abolished by Pope Pius XII in 1955. The traditional liturgical color is white.

Until 1960, another feast day that appeared in the General Roman Calendar is that of “Saint John Before the Latin Gate” on May 6, celebrating a tradition recounted by Jerome that St John was brought to Rome during the reign of Emperor Domitian, and was thrown in a vat of boiling oil, from which he was miraculously preserved unharmed. A church (San Giovanni a Porta Latina) dedicated to him was built near the Latin gate of Rome, the traditional site of this event.

The Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite commemorate the “Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian” on September 26.

On May 8 they celebrate the “Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian“, on which date Christians used to draw forth from his grave fine ashes which were believed to be effective for healing the sick.

Other Christians highly revere him but do not canonize or venerate saints.

Jan Massijs - The Apocalypse of Saint John the Evangelist (1563)
Jan Massijs - The Apocalypse of Saint John the Evangelist (1563)

Riassunto di San Giovanni

San Giovanni Apostolo, figlio di Zebedeo e Salome, fu uno dei dodici apostoli di Gesù. Nostro Signore ha nominato Giovanni come apostolo durante il primo anno del suo ministero pubblico. Si pensa che sia lo stesso di Giovanni Evangelista, Giovanni di Patmos e il Discepolo Amato.

St. James the Great, another of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles, was John’s older brother. The brothers were referred to by Jesus as “Boanerges,” which means “sons of thunder.” John is thought to be the longest-living apostle and the only one who did not die as a martyr.

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