Today is the Third Day of Christmas–it’s also the feast day of St. John the Evangelist, the only Apostle to stand with Our Lady at the foot of the Cross, and the only Apostle to die of old age. (He miraculously survived more than one attempt to kill him however, so I believe this means he is still considered a martyr by the Church.) St. John was a fisherman, the brother of St. James (the Greater). He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and the very last book of the Bible, Revelation/The Apocalypse.
At the foot of the Cross, Our Lord charged him to take care of His Holy Mother. According to tradition, St. John lived with Our Lady after Our Lord ascended into Heaven. Some time after Our Lady was assumed into Heaven, he was exiled by the Emperor to the island of Patmos. Eventually he was allowed to return to his home in Ephesus, and died there at the very old age of 94.
Ever since college, I have been interested in personality types and the Myers-Briggs personality type system and the related traditional theories/ideas about human temperaments. Some folks have said that the four Gospels can be classified according to one of the four temperaments:
- St. Matthew = SJ (Sensing-Judger)
- St. Mark = SP (Sensing-Perceiver)
- St. Luke = NT (iNtuitive-Thinker)
- St. John = NF (iNtuitive-Feeler)
My temperament is solidly in the NF category, so I always thought of St. John’s Gospel as especially mine after I heard that–but I do love each of them. If you don’t know about these temperaments and have the curiosity to wade through the alphabet soup, here is a personality test by one of my favorite (non-Catholic) writers on personality/temperament theory. (Nota Bene: Please know I don’t agree with everything he says!) Hopefully you will have some fun with it: Personality/Temperament Test by David Keirsey.
But back to the feast of St. John: the wonderful Catholic Culture website offers us many recipes and activities for celebrating the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. Blessed Feast and Third Day of Christmas!
(This image of St. John above is from Wikipedia, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which lists it as “Detail of St John in window designed by Edward Coley Burne-Jones in 1874 for William Morris, originally in St James Church, Brighouse, near Bradford. Now in Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley, West Yorkshire, England.”