St. John

John was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the other apostles. He is the only one not to die a martyr’s death. The Church considers him the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, and the Beloved Disciple who was the author of several books of the New Testament.

The apostles believed that big cities like Ephesus, Smyrna and Laodicea would help them to spread the new religion. John came to Ephesus with Virgin Mary who had been entrusted to him. John’s Gospel says that while Jesus was dying on the cross he turned to his mother and told her John was his son. Then he turned to John and told him that Mary was his mother. In this way Jesus told his favorite disciple to care for Mary. John took Mary into his own home and the two were never separated again.

St. John established the first Christian community in Ephesus. He took Mary with him and it is said that John himself built the House of Mary that can be seen near Ephesus today. In 64 AD St Paul was decapitated outside the city wall of Rome. John once again took it upon himself to be the leader of the Ephesians church community. St John went around Asia Minor with St Peter to spread Christianity.

St. John was almost assassinated twice. The first time he was given a draft of poison in a drink. He was saved by a miracle. When he went to drink from the glass the poison turned into a snake and exited the glass. The second time he was exiled to Island of Patmos. It was on this Island where St. John did much of his writing. In 95 CE he returned to Ephesus to write his Gospel, and the St. died and was buried near the city. Today visitors can visit St. John’s tomb.

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