John was born in Galilee, and was the brother of St. James. The brothers had been early followers of St. John the Baptist. When John the Baptist announced that Jesus was 'The Lamb of God' and advised his followers to follow him, John and his brother James became disciples of Jesus.
John followed Jesus as He preached to the people of Galilee and beyond. John witnessed many of the miracles of Jesus. He also attended the Last Supper. During the Crucifixion, Jesus, knowing that he was about to die, asked John to care for His mother, the Virgin Mary. John was particularly close to Jesus, and was referred to as 'beloved of Jesus'.
After the Resurrection of Christ, John was the first to hear of it, and the first of the disciples to meet the Risen Lord. John and Peter worked together to expand the Church after the Ascension of Jesus. Both men working together converted many. John in particular helped to convert many of the Samaritans.
John also cared for Mary until her death. Tradition says that he took the Mother of God to the City of Ephesus, where she died. John was Head of all the Churches in Asia Minor.
During the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Domitian, John was arrested. He was tortured, and condemned to death by being placed in a cauldron of boiling oil. Miraculously, he survived, and was sent to work as a slave in the mines. He survived his ordeal, and eventually settled in Ephesus.
It was in Ephesus that John wrote his Gospel. He also wrote three epistles that have been incorporated into the Bible. John was one of the leading theologians in the early Church.
Saint John is also reputedly the author of the Book of Revelation.
John lived to a great age. Some say he lived to be one hundred and five, but the exact date of his death is unknown.
Saint John performed several miracles. At Ephesus, he restored the sight of a young boy who was blinded. His mere presence resulted in a notorious robber renouncing his life of crime and turning to God.
John realized that the greatest of God’s gifts was love. Some of his last words were to his congregation in Ephesus:
“Little children, love one another.”