John and Peter were the only two apostles sent by Jesus to make preparations for the final Passover meal, the Last Supper. During the meal, St. John sat next to Jesus, leaning on him rather than lying along the couches.
He was the only one of the Twelve Apostles who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross where the Savior made John the guardian of His Mother.
After the Assumption of Mary, John traveled to Ephesus, where he was banished by Roman authorities to the Greek Island of Patmos after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering no injuries. It is also said that all those who witnessed the miracle in the Colosseum were converted to Christianity.
John is believed to be the longest living apostle and the only one not to die a martyr’s death. The “beloved disciple” died in Ephesus after AD 98, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. He is known as the author of the Gospel of John and four other books in the New Testament – the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation.
St. John is often depicted in art as the author of the Gospel with an eagle, symbolizing “the height he rose to in his gospel.” In other icons, he is shown looking up into heaven and dictating his Gospel to his disciple.
St. John, Apostle and Evangelist’s feast day is celebrated on December 27.