St. James the Beloved
He is St. James’ brother, the son of Zebedee. He was the disciple whom the Lord Jesus loved (John 19:26) and he laid on the Lord Jesus Christ’s chest at the Last Supper. He is the Apostle who became known for his virginity, simple heart, and great love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the only disciple who followed the Lord Jesus Christ to the Holy Cross and so the Lord Jesus bequeathed him St. Mary as a mother and from that time she lived with him (John 19:25-27). Many believe that St. John’s family was a well-to-do- family and resided in Bethesda.
He might have been a former disciple of St. John the Baptist for sometime (John 1:35-42).His mother was one of women who followed the Lord Jesus Christ and served Him (Matthew 27:55, Mark 10:40 & 41). St. John recorded the Lord Jesus Christ’s speech about Holy Communion (John 6), the only one who mentioned the meeting of the Lord Jesus Christ with the Samarian woman (John 4), story of the Lord Jesus Christ with the woman which committed adultery (John 8), healing of the blind man, blind since his birth (John 9) and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11), and he is the only one who mentioned the last prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ before Crucifixion (John 17). He was one of the three disciples who were witnesses of the miracle of raising the daughter of Jarius, in Transfiguration, and in Gethsemane. He went very early with St. Peter to the Lord Jesus Christ’s tomb on the Glorious Resurrection Sunday and even reached the tomb first before St. Peter. He was the only disciple who recognized the Lord Jesus Christ in his apparition on Lake of Galilee after His blessed Glorious Resurrection and said to St Peter (He is The Lord. John 21:7).
He was a leader of the early Church along with St. Peter and St. James, was with St. Peter in performing the miracle of healing of leman of the temple (Acts 3), witness for the Lord Jesus Christ before Synagogue (Acts 4) and laying their hands on the believers of Samaria to accept the Holy Spirit (Acts 8).
He stayed in Jerusalem until St. Mary’s departure as he took care of her. He preached in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria and after her departure he preached in Asia Minor completing the work of St. Paul and St. Appalls and set his center in Ephesus (Acts 18:24-82 & 19:1-12) where he oversaw the churches in Azmer, Philadelphia, Sardis, Bergamo, and Thyatira which were mentioned in the Holy Book of Revelation.
For his zealousness in teaching and preaching, the Emperor Domitian seized him and brought him to Rome where he was thrown into a pot of oil but the Lord saved him and so the emperor exiled him to Patmos around 95 AD where he saw his revelation and wrote his Holy Book. After Domitian’s death, he returned to Ephesus to continue his preaching.
One of the most common titles for St John is the Beloved and he mentioned this in John 13:23, 19:26, 20:2, 21:7 & 20. He was called the “love” Apostle where his Holy Gospel, his Holy Epistles and sermons were centered upon the Christian love. Also, he defended the orthodox faith against heretics. He departed in 100 AD.