This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27 -- Feast of St. John the Divine of Patmos

This is John son of Zebedee and brother of James the Greater; together they were called Boanerges (sons of Thunder) because of their forceful preaching styles. John is the Beloved Disciple who never failed Jesus, even during the crucifixion, and to whom care for Mary Theotokos was entrusted. Yeah, he's a Big Dog.

John has another feast on May 6 dedicated exclusively to his martyrdom. Having looked over some of the description, I'd say it deserves at least one day's feast. He made Rasputin look like a sissy. One big difference: Rasputin died in the end but John survived all the abuse and died of natural causes.  In fact, he was apparently the only one of the Twelve not to die a violent death.  

Here's a question regarding John and James that comes up in Luke's Gospel. First the relevant passage from Chapter 9: 51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy themb]">[b]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

And then the question: for what did he rebuke them? Was it because they proposed to misuse the power they had, killing those who had just not welcomed Jesus, or because they claimed powers they did not have? I find the passage very curious -- I don't really think of the Apostles as working miracles themselves until after Jesus's resurrection and subsequent ascension. They also don't seek to do much harm while they are with Jesus, even when they're spurned. Later on, John prayed in the Temple of Artemis during a ritual sacrifice, killing two hundred people, but he resurrected them all moments later, that they might believe and be baptized. On that occasion, it was heavenly fire that came down and killed them, but was such power his while Jesus was alive? If so, when does he (or James or any other apostle) use it?

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