Born in Galilee, the son of Zebede and Salome and the younger brother of James the Greater, John was a fisherman on Lake Genesareth until he was called by Christ to follow him. He was the youngest of the Apostles and was referred to as “John the Beloved.” That he was one of the persons closest to Christ is demonstrated by the fact that only he, Peter and James were present at important events such as the Transfiguration. He was the only Apostle at the Crucifixion, when Jesus placed Mary in his care. John, the author of the fourth Gospel, is often surnamed “The Divine” because of his theological brilliance. St. John is shown in his role as evangelist with the symbol of the Eagle visible on the scroll in his left hand. His right hand is raised in the gesture of blessing, the fingers forming the monogram of Christ (IC XC). The original of this Icon was created in the traditional Russian manner using ground stone pigments suspended in an egg yoke medium and 23K gold leaf.
The Image of the Evangelist has always been a powerful one for they are the bringers of the Word, something we are all called to do by how we live in the world. In the Eastern tradition prayer begins by gazing, or looking with fixed attention until one sees beyond the physical image to what is truly there. In gazing upon the Image of the Evangelist, a human vessel, the viewer opens him or herself to the presence and power of the Divine in our midst.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
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