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Happy St. John's Day!


Today is St. John’s Day!


St. John was a simple fisherman from Galilee. Along with his brother James, John became a faithful disciple of Christ. He is the only one among the Apostles who was at the cross when Jesus died. While at the cross, he was asked by Jesus to take care of Mary. He is believed to be the writer of the gospel of John, the letters of John, and the book of Revelation.


Legend has it that he traveled with Peter in Judea and then went on to Asia Minor where he founded the seven churches which are mentioned in Revelation. For the rest of his life, St. John faithfully preached the gospel and was eventually exiled to the isle of Patmos. He is the only disciple who did not suffer a martyr's fate.


A great theme surrounding St. John’s ministry and his writings is the love of Christ. St. John writes in 1 John that “God is love, and all who live in love live in God.” He always refers to himself as the “beloved disciple” and St. Jerome wrote that every time St. John was asked to preach he would stand before the crowd and say, "Love one another. This is the Lord's command.” What a profound and simple message!


In keeping with this theme of love, the day is celebrated with the St. John’s Cup. Legend is that once, at a feast, St. John’s enemies presented him with a cup of poisoned wine. Before St. John drank from the cup, he made the sign of the cross. Immediately, the cup split and the poisoned wine spilled out and St. John was saved.


In memory of this event, we have the tradition of the St. John’s Cup. On this day, people would bring their house wine to the church and the priest would bless it. That night, the family would gather for the main meal and everyone would be given a glass of the blessed wine. The father would begin the celebration by having everyone stand with their glass of wine. He would touch his glass to his wife’s glass, look her in the eye and say, “I drink to you the love of St. John.” The mother would then reply, "I thank you for the love of St. John" and they both would take a sip of wine.


The mother would then turn to the oldest child, and say, “I drink to you the love of St. John.” The oldest child would then answer, "I thank you for the love of St. John" and they would both take a sip of wine. The oldest child then turned to the next oldest child and the pattern was repeated until the youngest child faced the father, repeated the phrase, and the family circle was closed.


The remaining wine would be stored away and used when a family member was sick (1 Timothy 5:23) or a time of grand celebration. Also, if a family member was about to take a trip, a few drops of the blessed wine were added to each wine glass and the whole family would drink again "the love of St. John.” Immediately after a wedding ceremony, the newlywed couple also drank to each other the love of St. John.


Celebrate the day by making your own St. John’s Wine and having your own The Cup of St. John Ceremony.


Devotion for St. John’s Day and a Blessing of the Wine

Light a candle and begin your devotion time with the following invitation to prayer:


Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All: Who has made heaven and earth.

Leader: The Lord be with you.

All: And also with you.

Leader: Let us pray. Lord, we pray that you would bless and consecrate this cup of wine, and every drink. We pray that all who believe in You and drink of this cup may be blessed and protected. Blessed John drank poison from the cup and was in no way harmed. So, too, may all who this day drink from this cup in honor of Blessed John, be freed from every sickness and harm.

All: Amen.

Leader: Bless, O Lord, this wine which You have made. May it be a healthful refreshment to all who drink of it. And grant by the invocation of Your holy name that whoever tastes of it may, by Your generosity receive health of both soul and body, through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen


Read Revelation 21:1-5

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Close with a prayer thanking God for his goodness and asking for his

guidance and protection for you and all who are in any need or trouble.

End your devotion by saying the Lord’s Prayer together.


St. John's Wine

1 quart red wine

3 whole cloves

1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 two-inch cinnamon sticks

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar


Pour the wine into a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Boil for 5 minutes (at this point the alcohol will be pretty much evaporated). Serve hot.




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