Monday, December 27, 2010

Feast of St John, Apostle and Evangelist

"The Apostle John, whom Jesus loved, was a son of Zebedee, and the brother of that James the Apostle who was beheaded by Herod soon after our Lord suffered. He was the last of the Evangelists to write his Gospel, which he published at the request of the Bishops of Asia against Cerinthus and other hereticks, and particularly against the then spreading doctrine of the Ebionites, who asserted that Christ had had no existence before Mary. It was therefore needful for the Evangelist to declare his eternal and divine generation.

In the fourteenth year of Domitian, whilst this same was stirring up the second persecution after that of Nero, John was exiled to the Island of Patmos where he wrote his Apocalypse, whereon commentaries have been composed by Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. When Domitian was killed, the Senate annulled all his acts on account of their excessive severity, and the Apostle returned to Ephesus during the reign of Nerva. There he remained until the time of Trajan, and founded and governed all the churches of Asia. There also in an extreme old age, he died, in the sixty-eighth year after the Lord's passion, and was buried near the same city of Ephesus."

-- Book on Ecclesiastical writers by St Jerome

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