A close friend of Jesus

St John the Evangelist was the son of Zebedee and Salome and they lived on the Galilean shores. St John’s much older brother was St James. In St Mark’s Gospel (Mark 1:20) there is a reference to “hired men” and St John’s “home” (John 19:27) which implies that Salome and her children were not poor.

When John the Baptist preached in the wilderness of Jordan, it is thought that the two disciples who “looked on Jesus as he walked” (John 1:35), when the Baptist cried: “Behold the Lamb of God!” were Andrew and John.

John and Andrew followed the Lord, asked him where he lived and remained with him all day. This first meeting was most probably the beginning point for St John the Evangelist’s devotion to Jesus.

Scholars believe that John followed Jesus to Galilee, attended the wedding at Cana and went with him to Capernaum, remaining by Christ’s side always. Along with Peter and James he became one of Jesus’s closest friends who stayed with Christ even when the other disciples were at a distance.

John was with Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and his mother asked Jesus that both her sons might sit on either side of Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 20:21). The greatest honour Jesus bestowed on John was when he stood at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday and was asked by Our Lord to take care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Following His death and Resurrection, after Christ appeared on the shore of Galilee, St John was the first to recognise him.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection