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Repose of St. John the Evangelist and Theologian, September 26th
Matins & Divine Liturgy
On September 26 in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Translation of the holy and glorious Apostle and Evangelist, Bosom-friend, Virgin and Beloved John the Theologian.
Verses Thou standest before the beloved Word of the Father, Thou who art beloved above all the disciples. On the twenty-sixth the Son of Thunder passed unto God.
John was the son of Zebedee the fisherman and Salome the daughter of Joseph, the betrothed of the Holy Theotokos. Called by the Lord Jesus, John immediately left his father and his fishermen’s nets and, with his brother James, followed Christ. From then on, he was not separated from his Lord until the end. With Peter and James, he was present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the Transfiguration of the Lord. At the Last Supper, he inclined his head on Jesus’ breast. When all the other apostles had abandoned the crucified Lord, John and the Holy Mother of God remained beneath the Cross. In obedience to the Lord, he was as a son to the Holy Virgin Mary, and carefully served and watched over her until her Dormition. John then lived and labored mostly in Ephesus. By his inspired preaching and miracles, he converted many to Christianity and shook paganism to its foundation. The embittered pagans bound him and sent him to Rome, to face Emperor Dometian, who had him tortured and flogged, which did him no harm. This terrified the emperor and, thinking him immortal, Dometian sent him into exile to the island of Patmos. There John converted many to Christianity by words and miracles, and confirmed well the Church of God. He also wrote his Gospel and Revelation on Patmos. He was over one hundred years old when he went to the Lord, and we celebrate the anniversary of his repose today. Through his intercessions, O Christ God, have mercy upon us. Amen.