St. John

1) ...the Baptist. The child of St. Elizabeth and St. Zacharias who was conceived after an angel had announced that the elderly, childless couple would have a son. St. John preached the coming of Messiah, and baptized Christ. He was decapitated by King Herod after Salome had asked for this in return for a dance. In art he is shown as a thin man in rags, holding a staff with a cross, or carrying or standing by a lamb.

2) ...Chrysostom (the Gold mouthed). Priest from Antioch who made famous sermons and revised the Greek liturgy. As a young man he had tried to become an ascetic but ruined his health. He was made Patriarch of Constantinople against his will, and angered the emperor with his zeal. So he was banished, but was so popular among the people that he was brought back, only to be banished again after only two months. He died in Armenia in 407. He is considered one of the three Holy Hierarchs, and one of the great Doctors of the Church.

3) The Apostle & Evangelist. The brother of St. James, and son of Zebedee. He came from Galilee and was to become "the disciple whom Jesus loved". When Christ was dying on the cross he made St. John the guardian of the Virgin Mary, and he is accredited the Gospel of John as well as the Apocalypse. According to legend he was banished to Patmos after the emperor Domitian had thrown him into boiling oil, which had not harmed the saint. On the island he lived in a cave, where he had a vision of Christ. He is said to have died in Ephesus at old age. In art he is shown holding a chalice with a snake or dragon, naked in a pot of boiling oil, as a young man holding a book or an eagle, or as an eagle.

Orthodox nameday: 7/1

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St. John the Baptist

St. John Chrysostom