John the Theologian

Orthodox Remembrance Day: 8 May

Catholic Remembrance Day: 27 December

Name means: God is gracious (Hebrew)

Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr

Attributes: Eagle, chalice with snake, oil boiler

Patron: the sculptor, painter, book printer, bookseller, writer, scribe, civil servants, notaries, theologians, winemakers, butchers, glaziers, mirror makers, engravers, friendship, wine; for burns; for good harvest; against hail, poisoning, burns, foot ailments and epilepsy.


* in Bethsaida, today the hill Et-Tell near Ad Dardara in Syria
about 101 in Ephesus, today ruins near Selçuk in Turkey

Antike original russische Ikone aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.


John was the son of Zebedee and Salome, brother of James the Elder, a fisherman by profession with an apparently energetic character, who earned him the epithet Donnersohn from Jesus.  John was called as the fourth disciple of Jesus after Peter, Andrew, and his brother (Gospel of Mark 1:19). With these – without Andrew – he belonged to the inner circle around Jesus, especially in the Gospel of Mark: they were already present at the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (Gospel of Mark 5:37), then at the Transfiguration of Jesus, at Jesus’ desperate prayer on the Mount of Olives on the night of Good Friday (Gospel of Mark 14:33). According to the testimony of John’s Gospel, he was the only disciple under the cross where Jesus called him his favorite disciple (Gospel of John 19:26). With Peter, he was also the first to rush to the empty tomb of Jesus after the women’s message.


Joachim Schäfer: Article Johannes, from the Ecumenical Dictionary of Saints –

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