St John

views updated May 29 2018

St John3 there are a number of other saints of this name.
St John Chrysostom (c.347–407), bishop of Constantinople, a Doctor of the Church. He attempted to reform the corrupt state of the court, clergy, and people; this offended many, including the Empress Eudoxia, who banished him in 403. His name means ‘golden-mouthed’ in Greek. His emblem is a bee, and his feast day is 27 January.
St John of God (1495–1550), the Portuguese founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, who fought as a mercenary for Spain against the French and Turks and later worked as a shepherd and a pedlar. His feast day is 8 March.
St John of Nepomuk (c.1345–93), priest and martyr, put to death by Wenceslas IV of Bohemia by being thrown into the river Moldau. He was later regarded as a martyr for the seal of the confession, since the story grew up that he had incurred the king's anger for refusing to reveal the contents of the queen's confession. His feast day is 16 May.
St John of the Cross (1542–91), a Spanish mystic and poet. A Carmelite monk and priest, he joined with St Teresa of Ávila in founding the ‘discalced’ Carmelite order in 1568. He also wrote mystical poems. His feast day is 14 December.

John, St

views updated Jun 08 2018

John, St2 usually known as John the Baptist. A Jewish preacher and prophet, son of St Elizabeth and Zacharias, seen as the forerunner of Jesus: ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John…He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light’ (John 1:6–8).

In c.27 ad he was preaching and baptizing on the banks of the River Jordan, and among those whom he baptized was Christ; John is reported to have said, ‘I saw the Spirit descending like a dove, and it abode with him’ (John 1:32).

He was beheaded by Herod Antipas after denouncing the latter's marriage to Herodias, the wife of Herod's brother Philip, and at the request of Herodias's daughter Salome.

During his ministry John is said to have lived in the desert wearing camel's hair and eating locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4), and this is how he is typically represented. His feast day is 24 June.

John, St

views updated Jun 08 2018

John, St1 an Apostle, son of Zebedee and brother of St James the Great; also known as St John the Evangelist or St John the Divine, said to have been persecuted under Domitian but to have survived into old age.

St John was present at the Crucifixion and it was to him that care of the Virgin Mary was confided by the dying Jesus; he is traditionally identified with the beloved disciple.

He has traditionally been credited with the authorship of the fourth Gospel, Revelation, and three epistles of the New Testament.

In Christian art he is represented with a book (for the Gospel) and his symbol of an eagle; he may also be shown with a cup holding a viper, recalling the challenge to him by a priest of Diana at Ephesus to drink poisoned wine. His feast day is 27 December.

John, St

views updated May 23 2018

John, St. One of the twelve Apostles and traditionally author of the fourth gospel, three epistles, and the book of Revelation (attributions increasingly questioned). John was the son of Zebedee (Matthew 4. 21), one of Jesus' inner circle of disciples (Matthew 17. 1), and one of the ‘pillar’ apostles (Galatians 2. 9). Traditionally, he settled at Ephesus, whence he was temporarily exiled to Patmos under Domitian, and died a natural death as an old man. Feast day in the E., 26 Sept. (also 8 May); in the W., 27 Dec.

The Acts of John belongs to the New Testament Apocrypha. It is a 3rd-cent. work notable for the ‘Hymn of Jesus’ (set to music by Gustav Holst) and for colourful stories of John's later life in Ephesus.

John, Saint

views updated May 14 2018

John, Saint (active 1st century ad) Apostle of Jesus Christ, one of the original 12 disciples. Known also as St John the Apostle and St John the Evangelist, he is widely believed to be the author of the fourth gospel and the three New Testament epistles of John. He is also identified with Saint John the Divine, the author of the Book of Revelation. John was the brother of another apostle, Saint James the Greater. Together with his brother and Saint Peter, John belonged to the inner group of disciples. His feast day is December 27.

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Saint John

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Saint John