Monday, December 27, 2010

The beloved disciple

December 27th is the feast of the protean Saint John, the Apostle, the Evangelist, the Divine, the Beloved. In images he is usually either the young beardless companion of Jesus who reclines on His breast at the Last Supper and is the only Apostle to stand by Him at the cross

 or the mature writer of his Gospel

who, in this 9th century engraving, combines the Evangelist with his signature animal, the eagle, so that he winds up looking like an Egyptian god

or the old greybeard exiled on Patmos and traditional author of the Book of Revelation.

There's a traditional blessing of wine on his feast day, so have a glass in his honor.

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