Love consists not in feeling great things
but in having a great detachment
and in suffering for the beloved.
~St. John the Apostle
St. John the Evangelist, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, also referred to as the Apostle of Charity, is the patron saint of love, loyalty, friendship, and authors. The “beloved disciple” was the only one of the twelve disciples who did not abandon his Master during the Passion, keeping vigil at the cross with Mary.
What can we learn from this beloved disciple of Jesus? He is certainly a model of true friendship and devotion. From what is revealed in sacred Scripture we know that John was present at key events in Jesus’ life: many miracles, including the Transfiguration, the institution of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Crucifixion, and the discovery of the Resurrection. It is said that John was “reclined at the bosom of the Lord” during the Last Supper, and was the disciple who ultimately asked Christ who his betrayer would be.
John was with Peter when Mary Magdalen came upon them after witnessing the open tomb. Both John and Peter ran to the tomb, but John ran faster. However, upon arriving at the tomb, John followed Peter into the empty room where Christ had been laid. It is clear that Saint John appears to be a faithful friend, yet also a humble follower, waiting to enter the tomb only after Peter, who would have been older than he, entered first.
If we imagine snapshots being taken at certain moments in Christ’s life, we can almost be certain that we would see in those picture’s Christ’s friend and disciple, John, faithfully standing close by.
Prayer to Saint John the Evangelist
O Glorious Saint John, you were so loved by Jesus that you merited to rest your head upon his breast, and to be left in his place as a son to Mary. Obtain for us an ardent love for Jesus and Mary. Let me be united with them now on earth and forever after in heaven. AMEN.