The feast day of St John the Divine

All Along the Watchtower

Saint_John_Apostle

Today, by long tradition, the Church celebrates the feast of St John, the disciple whom Jesus ‘loved best’. He it was who, again according to tradition, rested upon the Saviour’s breast at the Last Supper, and it was to him that Jesus entrusted His mother in his final agonies on the Cross. The same tradition which tells us these things, tells us he is the author of the Gospel and the three epistles which bear his name; it also tells us he is the author of the vision captured in the ‘Apocalypse’ or ‘Revelation of St John the Divine’. That same tradition tells us that he lived to a great old age.

As the last surviving Apostle, St John provided a direct link back to the earthly ministry of Jesus. Tradition has it that he was much revered by the local community, and that in old age he would be asked…

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Christ Mass

All Along the Watchtower

So, the long Advent wait is over and the first Mass of Christmas (for many of us) has happened and now we are back with our family. For many, Christmas itself is almost over, although for Christians of a certain frame of mind, we know it has only just begun and will go on until at least the Feast of the Epiphany, and, at least on one old English custom, to Candlemas on 2 February, which is the fortieth day of the Christmas period. Our ancestors were less niggardly with celebrations than we are, and the plethora of Saints days gave their name to the word we use now to describe periods of rest from work – ‘holidays’ – which, of course, derives from ‘holy days’ – which at least makes for a smile when used by secularists as a substitute for Christmas, as in ‘happy holidays’.

Of all the…

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